De­fec­tion: Court to rule on APC govs’ ob­jec­tion May 23

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - By John Chuks Azu

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.

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