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 the state governor.
The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/885/2021 is predicated upon the judgment of the Supreme Court in Eyitayo Olayinka 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 on Wednesday affirmed the election of Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN as Governor of Ondo State
However in a minority judgment of three Justices, 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 PDP in an originating summons filed on August 12, 2021 by it’s counsel, Chief Emeka Etiaba (SAN) has urged the court to order directing 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 Mai Mala Buni, Idi Barde Gubana, the All Progressive Congress and the Independent National Electoral Commission.
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 the All Progressive Congress, cannot lawfully occupy the office of the governor or deputy of Yobe state upon ceasation of the Buni occupation of the office of governor of Yobe state.
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.
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 uponn the ceasation of Governor Buni occupation of the office.