Court dismisses suit seeking to remove Matawalle as Zamfara Governor

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A Federal High Court in Gusau has struck out a suit seeking to remove Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, from office. Some members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state had filed the suit against the governor over his defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Presiding over the case on Monday, Justice Bappa Aliyu said the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the case. He, however, held that since it was neither a pre-election nor post-election matter, the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria does not prohibit a governor from defecting from a party.

The judge added that the constitutions of the APC and PDP do not make it unlawful for a governor to decide and defect to any other constitutionally recognised political party operating within the country.

He stated that the suit should have been filed before an election petitions tribunal, if it were a pre-election case, stressing that only the tribunal or the State House of Assembly has the power to remove the governor on the grounds of defection.

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