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Court Hears PDP Suit Against Defected Governors April 7

Defected PDP Governors: Alhaji Murtala Nyako (Adamawa); Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers); Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto); Rabiu Kwakwanso (Kano); and Abdulfatai Ahmed (Kwara)
Defected Governors: Alhaji Murtala Nyako (Adamawa); Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers);
Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto); Rabiu Kwakwanso (Kano); and Abdulfatai Ahmed (Kwara)

The Peoples Democratic Party has moved to serve hearing notices on the governors who defected to the All Progressives Congress at their liaison offices in Abuja in a bid to accelerate proceedings in a suit in which it asked an Abuja Federal High Court to remove them from office.

The suit filed by PDP against the governors – Alhaji Murtala Nyako (Adamawa); Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers); Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto); Rabiu Kwakwanso (Kano); and Abdulfatai Ahmed (Kwara) – has been stalled repeatedly as a result of a dispute over the address of the national secretariat of the APC.

The governors’ grouse was that the PDP did not serve the hearing notice at the address stipulated in the order which directed them to appear before the court.

However, the PDP explained that the defected governors’ new political party, the APC, had moved from the address mentioned in the court order – No. 6 Guinea Bissau Street, Wuse Zone 6 – to a new location – No. 40 Blantyre Street, Wuse 2, where it served the hearing notice.

The five governors are insisting that they cannot be served at an address that was not authorised by the court, and their lawyers, including Yusuf Ali, SAN, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, Awa Kalu, SAN, John Bayeshia, SAN and Akin Olujinmi, SAN, have challenged what they described as ‘wrongful’ service of the hearing notice.

However, in a bid to resolve the impasse and make progress in the case, the PDP counsel, Dr. Alex Izinyon, SAN, at the continuation of hearing in the matter on Wednesday, informed the court that PDP had filed a new application on March 17 to seek the leave of the court to serve the hearing notice on the governors at their liaison offices in Abuja.

“We want to serve them now at their liaison office.

“The essence (of the application) is that we want to tell that this is what we want to do,” Izinyon said.

Explaining the decision to serve the defected governors at their liaison offices, he said, “We don’t want to follow them to the new address because they can say they are no longer there.

“So we said let’s look for an address that is permanent.

“This is a matter of constitutional importance and we have been here for three months – we cannot continue following them from pillar to post.

“I hope the liaison offices will still be there on the next adjourned date.”

With the defected governors’ lawyers arguing that they were not empowered to receive service on behalf of their clients, Justice Kolawole adjourned to April 7 to hear all pending applications, including the defendants’ motion against the service of the hearing notice.

The confusion over the address of the national secretariat of the APC became a major issue in the suit after the governors and their lawyers failed to appear before the court when proceedings in the suit commenced on January 27.

Following the governors’ absence, Justice Kolawole fixed February 6 for hearing and ordered that a hearing notice to that effect should be served on them.

The judge directed that the hearing notice should be pasted at the national secretariat of the APC as a means of substituted service on the five governors, in addition to its advertisement in two national dailies.

Source: Punch

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