The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday commended the judiciary for defending the Constitution as the Federal High Court in Gusau Division, affirmed Bello Muhammad Matawalle as Governor of Zamfara State.
This was contained in a statement by the Secretary of the party’s Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Senator John James Akpanudoedehe on Tuesday in Abuja.
The statement read, “On behalf of the National Chairman of the APC National Caretaker Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni, the party hails the Judiciary for, again, defending the constitution and the popular mandate of Alhaji Bello Muhammad Matawalle as the Governor of Zamfara State.
The Federal High Court dismissed the suit challenging Matawalle’s governorship upon his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), saying the whole case was “devoid of merit.”
Governor Bello Matawalle formally joined the APC last year June with all members of the state House of Assembly and National Assembly Members except a representative from Anka/Talata-Mafara Federal Constituency who remains in the PDP. The state Deputy Governor, Mahdi Aliyu Gusau also did not decamp to the APC.
Akpanudoedehe said, “Based on Monday’s judgment, the Court held that there is no provision in the 1999 Constitution (as amended) that states that a governor will lose his seat whenever he defects to another party other than the political party upon which he was elected.
“That Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle has the right to assembly and association concerning joining or belonging to a political party. In exercise of his right of freedom of association guaranteed under section 40 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), he can defect to any party of his choice and still maintain his seat as the Governor of Zamfara State.”