BY IKECHUKWU NNOCHIRI
ABUJA—The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja will today deliver judgment in the suit seeking to declare the seats of the five governors that defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC, vacant.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole adjourned the matter for judgment after all the parties adopted their final briefs of argument.
Those PDP urged the court to sack from office were Governors Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers, Alhaji Magatakarda Wamakko of Sokoto, Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano and Alhaji Abdulfatai Ahmed of Kwara state, who were all listed in the suit as 2nd to 6th defendants, respectively.
The Federal High Court, also yesterday, ordered Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State to appear before it on July 3 alongside the Attorney General of the state, Mr. Chukwuma Ume. The duo were summoned after their counsel yesterday, claimed that they were briefed separately by both the governor and the state AG, to appear before the court on the same matter.
The All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, filed the suit seeking to declare his seat vacant, following his defection to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
However, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, was also cited as the second defendant in the suit praying the court, to declare the seats of the former PDP governors vacant.
The party said that going by the express provisions of sections 177 (c), 221 and 222 (c) of the 1999 Constitution, the court, ought to declare the governors as ineligible to remain in office having defected to the APC.
It is seeking “A declaration that by the combined provisions of section 177 (c), 221 and 222 (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) the 2nd-6th Defendants who were elected under the platform of the plaintiff cannot continue to enjoy the mandate given to the plaintiff by the people / electorate of the respective states as the 2nd – 6th defendants have defected to the APC.
“A declaration that in the absence of any division known and recognised by law in the plaintiff, the 2nd- 6th defendants who were elected under the plaintiff’s platform have vacated or forfeited their seats forthwith upon their defection to APC.
“A declaration that having combined provisions of section 87 of the Electoral Act 2011 (as amended), section 177 (c), 221 and 222 (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) the 2nd – 6th Defendants defection from the Plaintiff to the All Progressives Congress, APC, the offices of the 2nd- 6th defendants have reverted to the plaintiff.