By Nweze Anaga, Abakaliki
The Federal High Court sitting in Gusau Judicial Division has afirmed Alhaji Bello Muhammad Matawalle as the executive governor of Zamfara State.
The court also dismissed the suit challenging Bello Muhammad Matawalle as governor of the state upon his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), stating that the whole case was “devoid of merit”.
The Court held Monday that there was no provision in the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which stated that a governor would lose his seat whenever he defected to another party other than the political party upon which he was elected.
Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the APC National Caretaker Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni, has applauded the judicially for defending the constitution, saying that Governor Matawalle has right to assembly and association as well as joining or belonging to any political party.
“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 Alh. Bello Muhammad Matawalle as the governor of Zamfara State.
“That Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle has the right to assembly and association with respect to 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.
“The APC congratulates Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle on his affirmation by the High Court. The development will undoubtedly buoy Governor Matawalle’s administration to continue implementing the many socio-economic development plans for Zamfara State as well as contribute towards efforts to tackle security challenges in the North West.”
But it is not clear whether the PDP would challenge the ruling.