The Federal High Court sitting in Gusau, Zamfara state capital has dismissed the suite filed by some PDP members on Monday, challenging the defection of Governor Bello Mattawale to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)
The Presiding Judge, Justice Aminu Bappah Aliyu while dismissing the suite said the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
The case in the suit no FHC/GS/CS/14/2021 was filed by Alhaji Bashir Saleh, Ibrahim Muhammed Turaki and Andulhamid Haruna all of them members of the people Democratic Party.
The plaintiffs had prayed the court to order Governor Bello Matawalle and Barr. Mahdi Aliyu who won the election on the platform of PDP to vacate their offices following their defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on June 29, 2021.
The plaintiffs, through their counsel, J. C Shaka, however, amended the originating summon and excluded the second defendant and deputy Governor Mahadi Aliyu for he decided to remain in the PDP.
The plaintiffs had however, joined the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), APC and Attorney General of the Federation as third, fourth, and fifth defendants respectively in the suit.
They also asked the court to restraint the fourth and fifth defendants from recognizing and dealing with the first and second defendants in their status, among other prayers.
In his ruling, Aliyu, however, said the originating summons filed by the plaintiffs lack merit as the matter before the court is neither pre-election matter nor election matter which shall be decided by the election petition tribunal.
Aliyu ruled that the Federal High Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the reliefs sought for by the plaintiffs.
He further ruled that the Constitution of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria did not, in any way, prohibit any person from joining any association or political party of his choice.
Aliyu said it was only an election tribunal or state house of assembly that can remove a governor from office.
The court therefore awarded the cost of N1m to each of the defendants to be paid by the plaintiffs.
Mike Ezeokhome, SAN who represented the Gov Bello Matawalle and the APC commended the court for ruling in favor of his clients, while J. C Shaka said the plaintiffs would study the judgement and decided on the next line of action.