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Plaintiffs Want New Election As Court Fixes July Date For Matawalle Removal Suit

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The Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja has fixed July 16 for the hearing of a suit, which kick-started the legal battle by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to unseat the Governor of Zamfara State, Hon. Bello Matawalle, for defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

 

 

The suit, filed in the names of two PDP members from Zamfara State, Sani Ahmed and Abubakar Muhammed, is seeking to oust the governor for dumping the PDP.

 

The duo, in the suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/489/2021 is contending that in view of an earlier judgment of the Supreme Court 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 while defecting from the PDP to the APC, and thereby transfer PDP’s victory to the APC.

 

 

The plaintiffs 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 a fresh election, within three months, for the PDP to replace him.

 

 

The governor, two weeks ago, had defected from the PDP, which brought him to power to the ruling APC, an action which the plaintiffs considered wrong, illegal and unlawful.

 

 

When the matter was called yesterday, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), who argued the ex-parte application, told the court that the plaintiffs have been unable to serve processes on the defendants hence the request to do so through substituted means.

 

 

He prayed for an order “granting leave to the plaintiffs/applicants to serve the motion on notice seeking leave to amend hearing notices and all other processes on the first and second defendants by substituted means, to with: pasting same at the Zamfara State liaison office at No: 6/7 Sangha Street, off Mississippi Street, Maitama District, Abuja or leaving it with any adult person in that office.”

 

 

Justice Inyang Ekwo in a short ruling, granted the request as prayed and ordered service of the originating processes on Matawalle and his deputy, Alhaji Mahdi Gusau, through the national secretariat of APC in Abuja.

 

 

Justice Ekwo thereafter fixed July 16 for the report of court papers on the two defendants.

 

 

The plaintiffs, who claimed to be members of the PDP in Zamfara State, want the court to among others declare that Matawalle and Gusau must resign from their offices before their defection to allow INEC to conduct a fresh election, within three months, for the PDP to replace them.

 

 

Filed on June 17, 2021 before Matawalle eventually defected to the APC, the suit has as defendants: Matawalle, Gusau, APC, and INEC.

 

 

Ahmed in an affidavit he deposed to in support of the suit, is claiming that he suffered along with other members of the PDP in Zamfara State and that Matawalle and Gusau’s defection would deprive them of the efforts they put into ensuring PDP’s victory in the election.

 

 

The deponent stated that it would amount to injustice against him and other members of the PDP in Zamfara if Matawalle and Gusau, being beneficiaries of the Supreme Court judgment were allowed to defect to the APC without relinquishing their current offices.

 

 

“As one of the members of PDP, who worked tirelessly and invested so much of our time and money to secure the victory of our party in the 2019 governorship election in Zamfara State, the second plaintiff and I will be highly prejudiced if the offices we worked so hard to win for PDP is transferred to APC, through the defection of the first and second defendants (Matawalle and Gusau), while they are still in the offices into which they were elected as members of and as candidates sponsored by PDP.

 

 

“As indigenes of Zamfara State, who joined other indigenes of the state to give our collective mandate for the governorship of Zamfara State to PDP, the second plaintiff and I will be highly prejudiced if the mandate we gave to PDP in respect of that office is transferred unilaterally by the first and second defendants to APC, who did not participate in or sponsor any candidate in the said election,” they said.

 

 

The plaintiffs want the court to declare “that the APC, which did not hold primaries for the governorship election in Zamfara State in 2019 and did not participate or sponsor a candidate in the said election cannot lawfully occupy through any of its members the office of the governor or deputy governor of Zamfara State which, by the combined effect of sections 177(c), 187(2) and 221 of the constitution, is meant for persons who are members of a political party that participated in and sponsored candidates in the election into those offices.

 

 

“A declaration that by the combined effect of sections 177(c), 187(2) and 221 of the constitution, the first and second defendants, which were elected into office as governor and deputy governor respectively of Zamfara State as members of, and as candidates sponsored by the PDP, cannot transfer those offices to the APC by defecting to that political party while they are still in office as governor and deputy governor of Zamfara State in view of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Appeal No. SC/377/2019 between the APC and another vs. Senator Kabiru Garba Marafa and 179 others, to the effect, that the APC did not participate in the 2019 governorship election of Zamfara State and therefore its members are not entitled to hold the office of governor or deputy governor of Zamfara State.”

 

 

Meanwhile, the PDP in another application is seeking to be joined as an interested party in the suit.

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2023 Presidency: Tinubu Chases Fayemi Out Of Kano

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Tinubu

As Southwest presidential hopefuls begin to seek support across the country, the Ekiti state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has experienced a shock treatment in Kano.

 

 

The Ekiti state governor’s hope of a support base in the populous Northern Nigeria state has been dashed by his political godfather, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, himself a Presidential aspirational.

 

 

 

ThePageNews reliably gathered that, in the bid to erect a political base in the state, Fayemi raised a strategic campaign cum lobby group,to penetrate Kano state and establish a noticeable presence, as foundation for a potential massive political platform to work for the actualization of the alleged presidential ambition of the former Minister.

 

 

According to ThePageNews source, Fayemi’s men were told in Kano that they should look elsewhere for support for their principal, as major relevant political groups in the state have pledged support for the aspiration of Tinubu.

 

 

It was further gathered that, the Fayemi team which refused to give up hope easily, intensified on their lobby, but couldn’t find a headway,as they were told by every group in the state about their allegiance to Tinubu’s presidential ambition.

 

 

Our source mentioned that, the Kano area has been locked down politically by the APC leader, Asiwaju, to sustain his presidential ambition of 2023.

 

 

It was further gathered that, the move to secure Kano ahead of the 2023 political game, especially as it affects Tinubu’s ambition was strategic.

 

 

ThePageNews was told that, because of the population relevance of the state to presidential elections, Tinubu who is a friend to the Kano state governor, Abdulahi Ganduje, has used the influence of the governor to secure,what our source described as a cult followership for Tinubu in the pursuit of his presidential ambition.

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Senator Shehu Sanni Dumps PRP, May Join PDP

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PDP

Senator Shehu Sani, who represented Kaduna Central in the 8th National Assembly, has resigned his membership of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).

 

 

He has not declared interest in joining another party but there are feelers he may join the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) any moment from now.

 

 

In his resignation letter dated July 9, 2021 addressed to PRP chairman in ward 6, Tudun Wada, Kaduna, Sani said the notice to leave the party was with immediate effect.

 

 

It reads: “I wish to officially notify you of my decision to step aside from the Peoples Redemption Party. This notice takes effect from today.

 

“I hope we shall continue to relate in the spirit of our struggle, our shared history and our common ideological principles.”

 

 

Shehu Sani joined the PRP in October 2018 after he failed to win the primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2019 Kaduna central senatorial seat.

 

 

The National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC had cleared Shehu Sani as the only candidate for the primary but Kaduna Governor Nasir El-Rufai kicked against it.

 

 

Subsequently, a primary election was conducted in the district and Uba Sani, the preferred candidate of El-Rufai, won the party’s ticket.

 

 

Shehu Sani boycotted the primary and filed an appeal but Uba Sani’s details were sent to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as the APC candidate for the election

 

 

The former Senator served on the platform of the APC but was critical of President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor El-Rufai’s governments from 2015-2019

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Jubilant Buni’s Caretaker Committee Names APC Secretariat, Buhari House

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Caretaker Committee

There is no date yet for the gathering of the highest organ of the All Progressives Congress, the national convention, where substantive national officers that would administer its national Secretariat would emerge.

 

 

At the end of a meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) led by Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni, the former merely endorsed timetable for APC Ward, Local Government and State Congresses, as presented to him by Governor Buni team.

 

 

A statement signed by national secretary of the CECPC, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, and made available to newsmen in Abuja disclosed that “Ward Congresses will hold 24th July 2021 followed by Local Government Congresses on 14th August 2021 and State Congresses on 18th September 2021.”

 

It was silent on the conduct of zonal Congresses and the national convention.

 

Amidst speculation that the convention would be conducted in December when the tenure of the Caretaker Committee was expected to terminate, the statement merely made allusion to tenure extension for Governor Buni led CECPC.

 

According to Senator Akpanudoedehe, “the National Chairman had the president’s approval to review the timeline available to the CECPC.

 

“By the approved CECPC decision, the tenure of the caretaker committees at each level from Ward, Local Government, State and National will end immediately elections are held at their respective levels and its officers immediately take the oath of office terminating with the National Convention.

 

 

“At the meeting, the CECPC National Chairman expressed the profound gratitude of members of the Committee to the President and members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) for the trust, confidence and the opportunity given to them to serve the party.”

 

To reciprocate the confidence of President Buhari in his team and his support, the CECPC informed him that the APC National Secretariat has been named after him.

 

The Caretaker Committee further assured President Buhari that it would conduct flawless Congresses and acceptable national convention.

 

“I also have the honour to inform you that in recognition of the untiring leadership role you have provided to our great party and the nation, and the democratic legacy you have put in place, the CECPC has approved to name the National Secretariat of the Party after you. The secretariat will henceforth be known as ‘BUHARI HOUSE,” Governor Buni disclosed.

 

“The CECPC National Chairman informed the President that the Committee had been very cautious and meticulous in making arrangements to conduct credible, transparent, flawless and generally acceptable Congresses and Convention for the Party to produce a strong leadership that will enjoy the support, trust and confidence of all members.

 

“At all times, we have enjoyed the confidence of Mr President and enjoyed your leadership. In developing the timetable for the congresses and convention, the support to conduct a credible election cannot be overemphasized; this will also justify the successes recorded and the status of the new APC that we have all dreamt of.

 

“Your Excellency sir, once again, we appreciate the honour and confidence you and the NEC members have reposed in us and our ability to execute this very important assignment.”

 

Governor Buni was accompanied to the meeting held at the Presidential Villa by other CECPC members, including Osun state governor Isiaka Oyetola; his Niger State counterpart, Abubakar Sani Bello; former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani; Senator Abubakar Yusuf, and the CECPC National Secretary, Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe.

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