*Drops name of deputy, as court commences full hearing Sept 29

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday amended its processes by asking the Federal High Court, Abuja to remove the name of Zamfara Deputy Governor, Mahadi Gusau, from its suit seeking his removal and that of the Governor, Bello Matawalle, from office over defection from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Two chieftains of the PDP in Zamfara State, had last month prior to Matawalle’s defection, approached the court to sack both Matawalle and Gusau if and when they decided to leave the party which brought them to office and joined the APC that was not recognized by the Supreme Court.

When the matter came up on Friday, PDP lead counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), applied for the withdrawal of the deputy governor’s name on the ground that there was no evidence of defection from him.

The PDP also in another application took over the case as the first plaintiff on the grounds that the mandate being contested belonged to it.

The request for the removal of Gusau’s name from the suit was not opposed by other lawyers in the matter, and the judge subsequently ordered the removal of the deputy governor’s name from the suit.

Justice Ekwo also ordered that the PDP be made the plaintiff and directed the party to amend and file all its processes within seven days.

He subsequently fixed September 29, 2021 for commencement of hearing.

While Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) represented the governor, Mr Ahmed Raji (SAN) and Tanimu Inuwa (SAN) represented APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) respectively.

The PDP in the suit, is asking the court to sack the governor over his unlawful defection from PDP to the APC.

In the suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/489/2021, initially instituted by Sani Ahmed and Abubakar Muhammed, 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 State, having not conducted valid primaries, it would be unlawful for Matawalle to retain his office while defecting from the PDP to the APC, and thereby transferring PDP’s victory to the APC.

They want the court to among others, declare that Matawalle must resign from his office before his defection to allow INEC to conduct fresh election, within three months for the PDP to replace them.

Justice Ekwo had on July 12, while delivering ruling in an ex-parte application, granted an order of substituted service of the originating processes on the governor through APC’s national secretariat.

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