Governor Chibuike Amaechi
•Wants state assemblies to impeach them
•Nyako, Ahmed dismiss lawsuit, say party is lawless
Olawale Olaleye and Tobi Soniyi
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has applied to a Federal High Court in Abuja for an order declaring the seats of the five governors who defected from the ruling party to the All Progressive Congress (APC) vacant.
The governors are: Alhaji Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Chibuike Amaechi (Rivers), Alhaji Magatakarda Wamakko (Sokoto), Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano) and Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara).
But in a swift reaction, Nyako and Ahmed dismissed the lawsuit as lacking in merit and described the PDP as a lawless institution.
Named as a defendant in the suit along with the five governors is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
PDP is also asking the court to order the Houses of Assembly of the affected states to impeach the governors.
In the action filed on behalf of the party by Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), the party cited Sections 177(c), 221 and 222(c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as grounds for the court to declare them ineligible to remain in office as the governors had defected to APC.
Accordingly, the party is asking for the following reliefs:
· A declaration that by the combined provisions of Section 177(c), 221 and 222(c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) the 2nd – 6th defendants who were elected under the platform of the plaintiff cannot continue to enjoy the mandate given to the plaintiff by the people/electorate of the respective states as the 2nd – 6th defendants have defected to the APC.
· A declaration that in the absence of any division known and recognised by law in the plaintiff, the 2nd – 6th defendants who were elected under the plaintiff’s platform have vacated or forfeited their seats forthwith upon their defection to APC.
· A declaration that having combined provisions of Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2011 (as amended), Sections 177(c), 221 and 222(c) of the Constitution (as amended) the 2nd – 6th defendants’ defection from the plaintiff to the APC, the offices of the 2nd – 6th defendants have reverted to the plaintiff.
· A declaration that by combined provisions of Sections 177(c), 221 and 222(c) of the Constitution upon the defection of the 2nd – 6th defendants from the plaintiff to the APC, the mandate reverts to the deputy governor or speaker of the state Houses of Assembly of the respective states or any officer next in rank who is still a member of the plaintiff to function and assume the office of the governor of the respective states in question.
· A declaration that by the combined provisions of Sections 177(c), 221 and 222(c) of the Constitution the act of defection by the 2nd – 6th defendants from the PDP under whose platform they were elected to APC amounts to gross misconduct.
The PDP is also seeking an order of the court mandating/directing the state Houses of Assembly of Adamawa, Rivers, Sokoto, Kano and Kwara States of the respective 2nd – 6th defendants to commence impeachment proceedings against the 2nd – 6th defendants forthwith.
However, reacting to the development, the Director of Press and Public Affairs, Government House, Yola, Adamawa State, Alhaji Ahmad Sajoh, declared the move by PDP as both irresponsible and lawless, stating that the ruling party should have learnt from the case of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, when a similar suit was instituted against him but was dismissed by the Supreme Court.
“When they stopped the Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda, from emerging the PDP candidate, he defected to ANPP, contested the election and won. He then moved back to the PDP and nothing happened.
“In Zamfara, the deputy governor, Mahmud Shinkaffi, who succeeded his boss on the platform of ANPP would later defect to the PDP and nothing happened still. Isn’t that an indication that they are both lawless and irresponsible? But the judiciary is not as lawless.
“Let them go to the court, they will lose woefully and that will further expose their ineptitude. By now, one would have thought that they would be managing (Olusegun) Obasanjo’s letter. And if you garnished that letter with the one from the CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, I think they have enough on their plate already,” he said.
On his part, the Senior Special Adviser on Media and Communications to the Kwara State governor, Dr. Femi Akorede, also dismissed the legal threat by the PDP, saying the party was obviously yet to recover from a post-defection shock and as such felt that it had to buy more time with the suit as part of its strategy.
He said Ahmed was not perturbed in anyway and remained focused.
“Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed is fully focused on fulfilling his lawful mandate, freely given by the good people of Kwara State and refuses to be distracted by issues about which the Nigerian constitution is very clear,” he said.
Category: Bauchi State News