Govs’ Defection: Court Adjourns Case Indefinitely

Rebel GovsA Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has declared as improper, the service of the process of the court on five governors, who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congres (APC).

The defected Governors are Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State; Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers; Murtala Nyako of Adamawa; Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto; and Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano.

Shortly after the governors defected to the opposition last year, the PDP approached the court for an order to declare their seats vacant.

But since the case was instituted, the PDP had found it almost impossible to effect service on the defendants.

In its ruling on whether the defendants were properly served with the process in the case, the court presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawole, declared that PDP failed to follow the procedures allowed by law in reaching the defendants since December 10 when the court action was first instituted.

He agreed with the defendants’ lawyers that they have not been served with court papers and as such, the court could not assume jurisdiction until the plaintiff (PDP) has done the needful by putting 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’s endorsement.

The PDP had claimed that in line with the court order obtained on December 13, 2013, the originating summon was taken to No. 6 Bissau Street, Wuse 2, but discovered that the APC had vacated the office and relocated to No. 40, Blantyre street, Abuja as the new office.

But the trial judge 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 the instant case, the service done by PDP was not in line with the procedure of the court.

He, therefore, adjourned the case sine-die (indefinitely) pending the time the plaintiff will comply with the law in the service of the originating summons on the five governors.

Justice Kolawole also 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.

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