A federal high court in Abuja has of today fixed July 16th to beginning the hearing of a suit initiated against Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara challenging the legitimacy of his defection from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress(APC).
The judge presiding over the case, Justice Inyang Ekwo fixed the date after he listened to the ex-parte motion of the plaintiffs’ counsel, Kanu Agabi, SAN, praying the court for an order to serve the 1st and 2nd defendants by substituted means through pasting the originating process at Zamfara State Liaison Office in Abuja.
Gov. Matawalle, Deputy Gov. Gusau, APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are 1st to 4th defendants respectively, while the PDP is listed as a party to be joined in the suit.
According to reports by the News Agency of Nigeria, two members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from the state; had asked the court to sack the governor and his deputy, Mahdi Aliyu Gusau, over their defection which they claimed had made them illegible to continue to hold the positions.
The plaintiffs are contending 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, 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.
They want the court to, among others, declare that Matawalle and Gusua must resign from their offices before their defection and INEC to conduct fresh election, within three months, for the PDP to replace them
Justice Ekwo granted the prayer of the plaintiff and adjourned the hearing of the substantive suit until July 16.