Court stops planned impeachment of Zamfara deputy governor - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

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Monday, 19 July 2021

Court stops planned impeachment of Zamfara deputy governor

By Our Correspondent

A federal high court in Abuja has restrained Zamfara house of assembly speaker and two others from proceeding with its planned impeachment of Mahdi Aliyu Gusau, deputy governor of the state.

Obiora Egwuatu, the judge, gave this order on Monday following an ex parte application brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) through its lawyer, Ogwu Onoja.

Onoja told the court that the house of assembly and others were planning to impeach the deputy governor, who has refused to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He asked the court to intervene by granting an interim order restraining the fifth to seventh defendants – the speaker, the state governor and chief judge of the state — from impeaching his client.

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In the ruling, Egwuatu said he was convinced it was a matter of extreme urgency, requiring the court’s intervention.

The judge then ordered parties to maintain the status quo pending the hearing of a motion filed by the plaintiff.

In the substantive case, the PDP is asking the court to sack Bello Matawalle, Zamfara governor, over his defection to the APC.

The plaintiffs argued that Matawalle, having abandoned the party through which he ascended to power, has lost his ticket to remain in office.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/489/2021, the plaintiffs contended that in view of an earlier judgment of the supreme court, to the effect that the APC had no candidates in the 2019 governorship election in Zamfara state having not conducted valid primaries, it will be unlawful for Matawalle to retain his office as it amounts to transferring PDP’s victory to the APC.