PDP asks court to remove defecting governors

By The Citizen
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The ruling Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP ) has asked an Abuja Federal High Court to declare the seats of the five decamped governors vacant.

The governors are Alhaji Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano) and Abdulfatai Ahmed (Kwara).

The Independent National Electoral Commission was listed as a defendant alongside the governors in the suit filed on behalf of the PDP by Alex Izinyon, SAN.

PDP argued that the governors should be sacked from office on the ground that, because of 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 governor or speaker of the state Houses of Assembly of the affected states, or any officer next in rank, who is still its member, to assume the office of governor.

PDP is asking the court for several reliefs, among which is a declaration 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.

The court was equally asked to make 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.

Also, the Abuja FHC was asked to make 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.

In the same vein, the court was asked to make a declaration 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 speaker of the state houses of assembly of the respective states or any officer next in rank who is still a member of the PDP.