Defection: Confusion over APC Secretariat address stalls PDP suit against G-5 governors

By The Citizen
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Confusion over the address of the national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Thursday delayed hearing of the suit in which the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asked an Abuja Federal High Court to declare the seats of the five governors who defected from the party to the APC.

The five governors - Alhaji Murtala Nyako (Adamawa); Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers); Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto); Rabiu Kwakwanso (Kano); and Abdulfatai Ahmed (Kwara) - were not represented in court at the commencement of proceedings in the suit on January 27.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole directed that the hearing notice should be pasted at the national secretariat of the APC as a means of substituted service on the five governors, in addition to its advertisement in two national dailies.

Although the five governors were represented by lawyers when the suit came up on Thursday, the court could not hear the matter as a result of separate motions in which counsel for Amaechi and Ahmed challenged the hearing notice served on them.

The issue in contention was the address of the national secretariat of the APC.

The order issued by Justice Kolawole for service of the hearing notice on the governors indicated No. 6 Guinea Bissau Street, Wuse Zone 6, as the address of the APC national secretariat, but the service was done at a different address - No. 40 Blantyre Street in Wuse 2.

Although counsel for the governors insisted that the hearing notice should have been pasted at No. 6 Guinea Bissau Street, Wuse Zone 6, as stipulated in the court order, PDP lawyer, Dr. Alex Izinyon, SAN, informed the court that APC had relocated its office to No. 40 Blantyre Street, Wuse 2.

After the argument by both counsel, Justice Kolawole asked the governors' lawyers if they were willing and ready to receive the notice on behalf of their clients.

All of them refused.
In a short ruling afterwards, Justice Kolawole adjourned to February 24 for report of the fresh service on the defendants, and also to enable the PDP to respond to the governors' motion challenging the service. - Punch.