The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday, asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to sack the Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle from office over defection to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
PDP, in a suit filed by two of its members in Zamfara State, Alhaji Sani Kaura Ahmed and Abubakar Muhammed, argued that Matawalle having abandoned the party through which he came to become governor, have lost his right to remain in office.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/489/2021, 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, has 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 transferring PDP’s victory to the APC.
They asked the court to among other things, declare that Matawalle and Gusau must resign from their offices before their defection, to allow the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct a fresh election within three months to enable the PDP to replace them.
Meanwhile, following an ex-parte application the Plaintiffs moved through their lawyer, Mr Kanu Agabi, SAN, Justice Inyang Ekwo issued an order for the court processes to be served on Matawalle through substituted means.
Specifically, the court directed that the processes be served on the Defendants through the National Secretariat of APC in Abuja, even as it adjourned the matter till July 16 for mention.
In a related development, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the reported attempt by the police to undermine the statutory powers of the Deputy Governor of Zamfara State, Mahdi Aliyu Gusau.
PDP’s position is predicated on the reported harassment of the Deputy Governor by the police, including an unlawful and vexatious obstruction of a planned rally by the Deputy Governor, despite the statutory powers vested in a situation where the governor has vacated his office, in line with the extant ruling of the Supreme Court.
“Instead of harassing the Deputy Governor Gusau, the police, as agents of the law, should be providing him all the protection and privileges, particularly as the formal process for his official declaration given the vacation of office by Matawalle has already commenced at the Federal High Court.
The Police should know that by virtue of section 221 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) as well as the judgment of the Supreme Court in Falake v. INEC (2016), that the Zamfara governorship mandate belongs to the PDP and that Gusau, not Matawalle, is now the holder of that mandate, given Matawalle’s willful defection to the APC,” the party stated in a statement signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan.
The PDP said its mandate is in no way transferable to the APC and the police and all security agencies should be guided by this. The party further cautioned banks and other financial institutions “to be wary of unapproved financial transactions with the cronies of Governor Matawalle, particularly, given the alleged moves to sweep the coffers of the state ahead of Matawalle’s inevitable eviction by the court.”
The opposition party asked Deputy Governor, Mahdi Aliyu Gusau, to remain resolute and not be deterred in any way as the people of Zamfara State are solidly behind him in resisting imposters and deserters at this trying time.
People of Zamfara were also urged to remain united as the mandate, which they willingly gave to the PDP, will never be allowed to be stolen by traitors.