Court Gives Final Verdict on Suit Seeking Zamfara Governor's Sack for Defecting to APC

Court Gives Final Verdict on Suit Seeking Zamfara Governor's Sack for Defecting to APC

  • The Federal High Court sitting in Gusau, Zamfara state, has ruled that Governor Matawalle violated no aspect of the constitutions of Nigeria or of the PDP by defecting to the APC
  • Aminu Aliyu, the presiding judge, gave the ruling in a suit seeking Matawalle's removal by dumping the PDP for the APC
  • The judge further held that it is only election tribunal and the state House of Assembly that can remove a governor

Gusau, Zamfara state - A Federal High Court sitting in Gusau, the Zamfara state capital, has struck out a suit filed against Governor Bello Matawalle for defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Recall that the governor of Zamfara state dumped the PDP for the APC in June 2021 after weeks of speculations and political intrigues.

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Bello Matawalle: Court Strikes Out Suit Seeking Zamfara Governor's Sack for Defecting to APC
The Federal High Court in Gusau ruled that Governor Matawalle's defection to the APC did not violate Nigeria's and the PDP's constitution. Photo credit: @Buharisallau1
Source: Twitter

His decision to join the APC had angered some PDP chieftains, Bashir Saleh, Ibrahim Muhammed Turaki and Andulhamid Haruna, who proceeded to the court to seek his removal.

They had asked the court to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising and dealing with Matawalle as governor.

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Court lacks jurisdiction

Delivering a ruling on Monday, February 7, the presiding judge, Aminu Aliyu, held that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter, TheCable reported.

He also ruled that the constitution of the PDP and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria do not, in any way, prohibit any person from joining any association or political party.

Aliyu said it was only an election tribunal or state house of assembly that could remove a governor from office.

The court, therefore, awarded the cost of N1m to each of the defendants to be paid by the plaintiffs, Premium Times also stated.

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Lawyers react

Mike Ozekhome, who represented Governor Matawalle and the APC, commended the court for the ruling.

However, J.C Shaka, counsel to the plaintiffs, said he would study the judgment for further action.

Lawmakers serve Zamfara deputy governor impeachment notice

Meanwhile, the Zamfara State House of Assembly on Monday, February 7, served Mahdi Aliyu Gusau, the deputy governor of the state, an impeachment notice.

Shamsudeen Basko, the House standing committee chairman confirmed that the Assembly through the Secretary to the State Government served the impeachment notice to the deputy governor.

The deputy governor is not in good terms with his principal following his decision not to leave the PDP for the APC.


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