PDP Threatens Legal Action Over Matawalle's Defection To APC

Nigerian’s major opposition party – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cautioned Bello Matawalle, governor of Zamfara, against defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In a statement yesterday by its spokesperson Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said no law allows Matawalle to defect to another party since he was elected on the platform of the PDP.

The PDP warned Matawalle against the decision, adding that his position as governor will become vacant if he defects to the APC.

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‘The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is watching developments in Zamfara state as they concern reports of plans by the state governor, Bello Matawalle, to cross over to the All Progressives Congress (APC),’ the PDP said.

The PDP categorically cautions Bello Matawalle to know that his plans amount to a decision to vacate office as no law allows him to cross over to any other party with the governorship mandate statutorily given to the PDP through the ballot box, as already established by the provision of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the standing judgment of the Supreme Court.

‘A combined reading of Section 221 of the 1999 Constitution as the pronouncements of the Supreme Court in Faleke v INEC (2016) is clear in holding 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 the agent of his party.’

The party also cautioned members of the national assembly and the state house of assembly ‘not to allow themselves to be pushed into losing their seats as the provisions of the constitution is very clear in barring lawmakers from cross-carpeting, except in a situation of a division in the political party upon which platform they were elected’.

‘There is no division in the PDP to warrant to defection of any of our lawmakers,’ the party stressed.

“The PDP hopes that Bello Matawalle, as well as members of the National and State Assembly from Zamfara state, will take caution.”

The party also added that its national working commitee (NWC) has approved the dissolution of the Zamfara state executive council.

‘The decision is in line with the provision of Section 29 (2)(b) of the PDP Constitution 2017 (as amended). All party leaders, critical stakeholders, and teeming members of our party in Zamfara state should, by this, be guided accordingly,‘ Ologbondiya concluded.