From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked a Federal High Court to sack the Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni and his deputy, Idi Barde Gubana from office and install Ambassador Umar Iliya of the PDP as state governor.
In party in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/885/2021 is predicating its prayers on the judgment of the Supreme Court in Eyitayo Jegede and Anor and Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) in appeal No: SC/448/2021/ delivered on July 28, 2021.
In a split decision of four to three, the Supreme Court affirmed the election of Mr Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) as Governor of Ondo State. However, a minority judgment of three justices of the apex court questioned the validity of the Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee and declared it illegal.
It held that the party erred by allowing a sitting governor to hold the position of party national chairman in clear breach of section 183 of the 1999 constitution (as amended).
The PDD in an originating summons filed on August 12, 2021 by it’s counsel, Chief Emeka Etiaba (SAN) has urged the court to order the Chief Judge in Yobe State or any other relevant judge in his absence to immediately swear in Umar Iliya and Daguma Baba Abba Aji as governor and deputy governor of the state as the offices have become vacant.
Listed as defendants in the suit are Governor Mai Mala Buni, Idi Barde Gubana and All Progressive Congress (APC).
It further urged the court to declare that having regard to the clear provisions of section 187 (1) of the 1999 Constitution and the state of law, Idi Barde Gubana of All Progressive Congress, cannot lawfully occupy the office of governor or deputy of Yobe State upon cessation of the Buni occupation of the office of governor of Yobe state.
It also prayed for a declaration that the action of Mai Mala Buni as the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the APC while he remains the governor of the state are wrongful, null and void. The party posed the following questions for the determination of the court: “Whether the 1st defendant (Buni) did not breach the clear provisions of section 183 of the 1999 Constitution when as the governor of Yobe State, he accepted the 3rd defendant (APC) appointment as its caretaker Committee Chairman and proceeded to occupy the office.
Whether the 1st defendant(Mai Mala Buni) who is the governor of Yobe State and the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the 3rd defendant (APC) has not ceased to hold the office of the Governor of Yobe State, having regard to the provisions of section 183 of the 1999 constitution. It also sought the court to adjudicate on having regard to the clear provisions of section 187(1) of the 1999 constitution and the state of law, whether the 2nd plaintiff (Dama Gum Baba Abba Aji), can lawfully occupy the office of the governor or deputy governor of Yobe State upon the cessation of Governor Buni occupation of that office.
•We’ll meet him in court –Buni
In his response, Buni said though he has not been served, he has no iota of doubt that the suit will not see the light of the day.
“We have not received any court notification to that regard and we believe that nothing like such suit exists. However, even if such suit exists, we will not only meet him in court, but we are also very optimistic that the suit will be thrown out,” he said throughhis spokesman, Mamman Mohammed.