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PDP withdraw suit seeking to sack Zamfara Deputy Gov, Gusau

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday in Abuja withdrew Zamfara Deputy Governor, Alhaji Mahadi Aliyu Gusau, from a petition filed in the Federal High Court seeking to remove him and his principal, Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle, for alleged unlawful defection.

Over the same problem, the party had previously recommended Gusau’s removal from office as the state’s deputy governor.

On Friday, however, PDP lead counsel Kanu Agabi SAN filed an application to have the deputy governor’s name removed from the ballot box, claiming that there was no evidence of his defection.

PDP also formally took over the matter as the first plaintiff in a move to that effect, claiming ownership of the contested mandate.

Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo ordered the deputy governor’s name to be removed after hearing no objections from other lawyers involved in the case.

PDP was also made the plaintiff, and the judge ordered the party to revise and file all of its processes within seven days.

He then set a date for the case to be mentioned in court on September 29, 2021.

Matawalle was represented by a legal luminary, Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN, at the Friday sessions, while the APC was represented by Alhaji Ahmed Raji SAN.

Tanimu Inuwa, a Nigerian Senior Advocate, represented the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The plaintiffs argue that it would be illegal for Matawalle to retain his office while defecting from the PDP to the APC, thereby transferring the PDP’s victory to the APC, in light of an earlier Supreme Court ruling that the APC had no candidates in the 2019 governorship election in the state because it had not conducted valid primaries.

They want the court to rule, among other things, that Matawalle must resign from his position before defecting, allowing INEC to hold a new election within three months to replace them with the PDP.

The party requested the Federal High Court, which was being used as a battleground, to remove the Governor for his illegal defection from the PDP to the APC.

The request is part of the reliefs sought in a complaint filed in the names of two PDP members from Zamfara State, Alhaji Sani Kaura Ahmed and Abubakar Muhammed, with the filing number FHC/ABJ/CS/489/2021.

Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo granted an order of substituted service of the originating processes on the Governor through the APC national secretariat on Monday, when the legal battle was kicked off by an ex-parte application filed by the plaintiffs lawyer, Kanu Agabi (SAN).

The governor had defected from the PDP to the APC two weeks previously, prompting the PDP to take legal action to reclaim its mandates from him.

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