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PDP to serve hearing summons to defected governors

07 February 2014, 06:43

Abuja - The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have been ordered by Justice Gabriel Kolawole of Federal High Court to serve hearing summons on its five defected governors at the APC headquarters.

Governors Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State, Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State and Murtala Nyako of Adamawa left  the PDP for  the APC.

It has been reported that the PDP had sued the governors, seeking a court order to declare their seats vacant on account of their defection to the APC.

The PDP Counsel, Dr Alex  Izinyon (SAN), who filed the suit on behalf of the party, said it was brought pursuant to Section 177 (c), 221 and 222 (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Kolawole had on Jan. 27 issued a court order in favour of the PDP to enable the party to serve hearing notices on the governors at their new party headquarters.

However, when the case came up for hearing on Thursday, Izinyon told the court that the party was unable to effect appropriate service of court summons on the governors.

He said this was on account of alleged irregularities in the address of the National Headquarters of the APC in Abuja.

The counsel then pleaded with the court to cause a bailiff to serve court summons on the governors through their individual lawyers present in court so as to pave the way for speedy hearing of the suit.

The move was however vehemently opposed by the governors, who through their lawyer, claimed that they had not been served with any court process in respect of the case.

Five Senior Advocates of Nigeria, leading about 100 other lawyers for the governors, refused to accept the service of court summons on behalf of their clients on the floor of the court.

The Senior Advocates are Chief Akin Olujinmi for Gov. Ahmed, Lateef Fagbemi for Gov. Amaechi, Yusuf Alli for Gov. Kwankwaso, Awa Kalu for Gov. Wamakko and John Baiyeshea for Gov. Nyako.

They all insisted that the PDP had to serve the governors the court summons through the APC
National Headquarters as ordered by the court on 13 December 2013, and not on the floor of the court.

Justice Kolawole agreed with the governors’ counsel that the court summons could not be forced on them on the floor of the court.

He held that the issue of service of court summon was so germane to any legal action and must be properly done in line with the provisions of the law.

He then adjourned the case to February 24 for hearing on report of the service and the reply of the PDP to the motions filed by the defendants.

-    NAN

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