The Federal High Court has dropped the name of Deputy Governor of Zamfara State Alhaji Mahadi Aliyu Gusau from the suit seeking to remove his principal Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle from office.
Both Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle and the Deputy Governor Alhaji Mahadi Aliyu Gusau were initially joined as defendants to the suit following an alleged unlawful defection.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) which won the Zamfara State governorship election had filed the suit following the defection of Matawalle from the party to All Progressives Congress (APC).
When the matter came up on Friday , Agabi told the court that the plaintiff had applied to withdraw the name of Deputy Governor Alhaji Mahadi Aliyu Gusau as a defendant on the ground that there was no evidence to show that he had defected from PDP .
The application was not oppose by Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), lead counsel to Governor Matawalle and Ahmed Raji (SAN), the lead counsel to APC. Tanimu Inuwa (SAN) who represented the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), did not oppose the application either.
In it’s motion PDP also formally prayed the court to take over the case as the 1st plaintiff on the ground that the mandate being contested belonged to it.
Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo after listening to the lawyers submissions ordered that the name of the deputy governor Alhaji Mahadi Aliyu Gusau be removed.
The Judge also ordered that PDP be made the plaintiff and directed the party to amend and file all its processes within seven days.
He subsequently fixed September 29.2021 for mention .
In the substantive suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/489/2021 filed in the names of two PDP members from Zamfara State, Alhaji Sani Kaura Ahmed and Abubakar Muhammed, the party is contending that, in view of an earlier judgment of the Supreme Court, to the effect that the APC had no candidates in the 2019 governorship election in Zamfara State, having not conducted valid primaries, it would be unlawful for Matawalle to retain his office after defecting from the PDP to the APC.
They want the court to among others, declare that Matawalle must resign from his office before his defection to allow the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct fresh election, within three months, for the PDP to replace them.
At the last Monday when the legal battle was kick started through ex-parte motion argued by the plaintiffs lawyer, Kanu Agabi (SAN), Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo granted an order of substituted service of the originating processes on the Governor through APC national secretariat
The governor had two weeks ago defected from PDP to APC which prompted the move by PDP seeking to claim its mandates from him through court action.