Posted by News Express | 28 January 2014 | 3,533 times
A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered a fresh service of court processes on five former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors, who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The processes are in respect of the case filed by the PDP, seeking to sack the governors on the grounds of their defection to the opposition party.
The governors are Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Alhaji Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano) and Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara).
Justice Gabriel Kolawole gave the order yesterday after PDP’s lawyer, Dr. Alex Iziyon (SAN), told the court that despite being served, the defendants were not only absent in court, they also failed to file any response to the processes served on them.
The judge had earlier ordered that the governors be served through the national office of the APC in Abuja.
Justice Kolawole yesterday granted the plaintiff’s permission to publish the court processes in THISDAY newspapers.
He adjourned to February 6 for hearing of the plaintiff’s originating summons.
Sued with the governors is the Independent National Electoral Commission (listed as the 1st defendant).
The PDP argued that the governors should be sacked from office on the grounds that upon their defection, they have forfeited their offices, which as a result have reverted to the party.
In the event that the five governors are sacked from office, PDP wants the court to order the deputy governors or speakers of the Houses of Assembly of the affected states, or any officer next in rank, who is still its member, to assume the office of governor.
The PDP wants the court to declare that by the combined provisions of Sections 177 (c), 221 and 222 (c) of the 1999 Constitution, the five governors, who were elected under its platform, cannot continue to enjoy the mandate given to it (PDP) by the people/electorate of the concerned states as they (governors) have defected to another political party.
It is also seeking a declaration that in the absence of any division in the PDP, the five governors have vacated or forfeited their seats upon their defection to the APC.
The party wants a declaration that by the combined provisions of Sections 87 of the Electoral Act 2011 (as amended), and Sections 177 (c), 221 and 222 (c) of the 1999 Constitution, the offices of the defected governors have reverted to the PDP.
The PDP also wants the court to declare that by the combined provisions of Sections 177 (c), 221 and 222 (c) of the 1999 Constitution, upon the defection of the five governors, the mandate reverts to the deputy governor or speakers of the state Houses of Assembly of the respective states or any officer next in rank who is still a member of the PDP.
•Credit (text only): ThisDay. Photo shows the affected governors with their colleagues in the defunct New PDP.
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