Defection: Court refuses APC’s request to sack Gov Tambuwal over alleged unlawful move to PDP

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On Tuesday a Federal High Court in Abuja refused to grant the request of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to remove Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal from the governorship seat on account of his unlawful defection from the party to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo in a judgment, in a suit instituted by the APC, held that a similar request on the same kind of subject had been voided by the Court of Appeal in several judgments.

Justice Ekwo said since the judgments of the Court of Appeal holding that governors cannot forfeit their seats on grounds of defection had not been set aside by the Supreme Court, they remained the law and binding on lower courts.

The Judge held that lawyers ought to have counselled their clients in respect of such matters that are pending before the Supreme Court, adding that it would amount to an exercise in futility for a Federal High Court to decide on a matter pending before the Apex Court.

APC had in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/449/2022, asked the court to invoke sections 177, 179 and 189 of the 1999 Constitution to declare the governorship seat of Sokoto State vacant on the account of defection by Tambuwal to another party.

The party claimed that it won the Sokoto gubernatorial election in 2019 and that Tambuwal must be made to surrender its mandate if he chooses to go to another party.

However, Justice Ekwo held that the case of APC fails, and lacks merit in view of the position of the Court of Appeal on similar matters.

Justice Ekwo subsequently dismissed the suit.

Defendants in the suit are Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and Aminu Waziri Tambuwal as 1st to 3rd defendants respectively.

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