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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the court to order the Houses of Assembly in five states to impeach the governors who left the party last month for the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).
Its lawyer, Dr. Alex Iziyon, filed a case before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, urging it to order the removal of Governors Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Rabiu Kwakwanso (Kano) and Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara).
The governors, who were members of the Group of Seven who joined others to form the New PDP led by Alhaji Kawu Baraje, dumped the PDP.
Joined in the suit, which is yet to be slated for hearing, is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The PDP cited Sections 177 (c), 221 and 222 (c) of the Constitution as the basis for which the court could declare the governors ineligible to remain in office, having defected to the APC.
The PDP formulated five questions for the court’s determination and prayed it for six reliefs.
The reliefs include an order mandating or directing the State Houses of Assembly of Adamawa, Rivers, Sokoto, Kano and Kwara states “to commence impeachment proceedings against the 2nd – 6th defendants (the governors) forthwith.”
The others are 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 on 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;
• 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;
•having combined provisions of section 87 of the Electoral Act 2011 (as amended), section 177 (c), 221 and 222 (c) of the Constitution (as amended) the 2nd – 6th defendants’ defection from the plaintiff the APC, the offices of the 2nd – 6th defendants have reverted to the plaintiff;
•by combined provisions of section 177 (c), 221 and 222 (c) of the Constitution (as amended) upon the defection of the 2nd – 6th defendants from the plaintiff to the APC, the mandate reverts to the deputy governor or speaker of the Houses of Assembly or any officer next in rank who is still a member of the plaintiff to function and assume the office of the governor of the states in question; and
•A declaration that by the combined provisions of sections 177 (c), 221 and 222 (c) of the Constitution (as amended), the act of defection by the 2nd – 6th defendant from the PDP on whose platform they were elected to APC amounts to gross misconduct.