Defection: Court to rule on APC govs’ objection May 23
A Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed May 23 for ruling on objections raised by five governors who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging the ‘inappropriate’ service of hearing notices over their defection.
Governor Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Chibuike Amaechi (Rivers), Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano) and Abdulfatai Ahmed (Kwara) who all left the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in November 2013, are urging the court to strike out the order issued on December 13, 2013 for substituted service of the court processes on them at the party secretariat in Abuja.
Counsels to the governors, Akin Olujimi (SAN), Awa Kalu (SAN) Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), Yusuf Ali (SAN), and John Bayesha in their separate objections are contending that the PDP did not meet the pre-conditions for the grant of order for substituted service.
Besides arguing that the PDP failed to serve at the right address of the APC being 6 Bissau Street, Wuse 6 in Abuja, the counsels argue that the governors reside and work in their various government houses in their respective states capitals.
In its originating summons filed by Alex Izinyon (SAN), the PDP is urging the court to hold that the defection of the five governors is illegal under the provisions of section sections 177 (c), 221 and 222 (c) of the 1999 Constitution and section 87 of the Electoral Act (2011).
The party also wants the court to order the commencement of impeachment proceedings against the state governors while the deputy governor or speaker of the state Houses of Assembly of the affected states, or any officer next in rank, who is still its member assumes the office of governor.