June 25, 2014 – PDP Loses Suit To Sack Governors Who Defected To APC (Amaechi, Nyako & Others)
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday lost its legal battle to unseat Governors Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi (Rivers), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko (Sokoto) and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (Kano) on account of their defection to the opposition All Progressives Congress [APC].
A Federal High Court yesterday declined to adjudicate on the PDP’s suit seeking to declare the seats of the defected governors vacant on ground that they were not properly served with the originating summons.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole ruled that until the governors are properly served, he would not adjudicate over the matter.
Accordingly, he asked PDP to formally write the court and attach the evidence of proper service of court processes on the defendants before any action could be taken against the governors.
The judge held that PDP failed to follow the procedures allowed by law in reaching the defendants since December 10 last year when the court action was instituted.
The court agreed with defence lawyers that they have not been served with court papers and hence, the court cannot assume jurisdiction until the plaintiff (PDP) has done the needful and put its house in order on the effective service of court summons.
The purported service of court process allegedly effected at No. 40 Blantyre Street, being the new office of the APC, was declared illegal, invalid, defective and was dismissed by the court for not having the court endorsement.
Justice Kolawole held that the issue of service of originating summons by the plaintiff on the defendants was fundamental before any court can take further action against any defendant, adding that in this case, the service done by PDP was not in conformity with the procedure of the court.
He adjourned the case sine-die (indefinitely) pending when the plaintiff will comply with the law in the service of the originating summons on the five governors.
The PDP had claimed that in line with the court order obtained on December 13, 2013, the originating summons taken to 6, Bissau Street, Wuse II, was discovered that the APC had vacated the office and relocated to 40, Blantyre Street, Abuja as the new office.
The party claimed that the originating summons and other court papers were subsequently taken to the new office for onward delivery by the APC to the governors.
But Justice Kolawale agreed with the governors that the service at 40 Blantyre Street was invalid, ineffective and faulty because the order of the court for service did not embody the address.
The judge said that what the plaintiff (PDP) ought to have done was to come back to the court to legally vary the order of service before it can be effective on 40, Blantyre Street, being the new APC national secretariat.
[By Godwin TSA, Daily Sun Abuja]