The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja, to sack the governor of Zamfara State Bello Matawalle and his deputy Mahadi Aliyu Gusau over their defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/489/2021 filed in the names of two PDP members from Zamfara State, Sani Kaura Ahmed and Abubakar Muhammed, the plaintiffs argued that in view of an earlier judgment of the Supreme Court to the effect that the APC had no candidates in the 2019 governorship election in Zamfara State, having not conducted valid primaries, it would be unlawful for Matawalle and Gusau to retain their offices while defecting from the PDP to the APC, and thereby transfer PDP’s victory to the APC.
The defendants in the case are Matawalle, Gusau, APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
They want the court to, among others, declare that Matawalle and Gusau must resign from their offices before their defection to allow the INEC to conduct fresh election, within three months, for the PDP to replace them.
After listening to plaintiffs’ lawyer, Kanu Agabi (SAN) moved his ex-parte motion, Justice Inyang Ekwo granted an order of substituted service of the originating processes on the governor and deputy governor.
Justice Ekwo ordered the plaintiffs to effect service within three days and adjourned the case till July 16.
In a supporting affidavit, Ahmed stated that he suffered along with other members of the PDP in Zamfara State and that Matawalle and Gusau’s defection would deprive them of the efforts they put into ensuring PDP’s victory in the election.
He added that it would work injustice against him and other members of the PDP in the state if Matawalle and Gusau, being beneficiaries of the Supreme Court judgment, were allowed to defect to the APC without relinquishing their current offices.
“As one of the members of PDP, who worked tirelessly and invested so much of our time and money to secure victory of our party in the 2019 governorship election in Zamfara State, the second plaintiff and I will be highly prejudiced if the offices we worked so hard to win for the PDP is transferred to APC, through the defection of the first and second defendants (Matawalle and Gusau), while they are still in the offices into which they were elected as members of and as candidates sponsored by the PDP.
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“As indigenes of Zamfara State, who joined other indigenes of the state to give our collective mandate for the governorship of Zamfara State to PDP, the second plaintiff and I will be highly prejudiced if the mandate we gave to PDP in respect of that office is transferred unilaterally by the first and second defendants to APC, who did not participate in or sponsor any candidate the said election.
“I verily believe that the third defendant (APC) cannot take benefit of the office of Governor of Zamfara State having not participated in the 2019 general election in respect of that office,” they said in the affidavit.