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Defection: PDP Insist Zamfara Deputy Gov Must Assume Office Of The Governor 

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Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has maintained that the deputy governor of Zamfara State, Mahdi Aliyu Gusau, should be accorded the statutory office of the state governor given the decision of Governor Bello Matawalle to vacate his office by decamping to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

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The party insisted that it will not be deterred by series of threats and attacks coming from APC including the legal opinion expressed by the minister of state for labour and productivity, Festus Keyamo, which it said lacked sound legal reasoning.

The PDP national publicity secretary Kola Ologbondiyan who queried Keyamo’s credentials as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria said the lawyer, in his failed effort to fault the party’s reliance on the Supreme Court’s direct interpretation of Section 221 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) in its judgement on Faleke v.

INEC ended up exposing a poor knowledge of the application of the law, by stating that the judgement cannot apply in a case of defection of a governor from the party on which platform he was elected to another, particularly, a party that did not even participate in the election.

Ologbondiyan in a statement said, “We refer Keyamo to the definite pronouncement of the Supreme Court in that case, to the effect that it is the political party that stands for election, that votes scored in election belong to the political party and that the candidate nominated to contest at an election by his party acts only as of the ‘agent’ of his party.

“The incontrovertible applicative import of that judgement is that the votes upon which Bello Matallawe assumed office as the governor of Zamfara State belong to the PDP and they are not transferable to the APC, which did not sponsor candidates for that election as required by section 221 of the constitution.

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“On Keyamo’s claim that once elected, the governor drops that party ticket and becomes free even to decamp to any other political party, we ask if that be the case under the law, how come Mukhtar Shehu Idris of the APC, who was already declared as elected governor of Zamfara State, had to lose the position immediately the Supreme Court decided that the votes cast for APC in that election cannot count.

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