The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, working in league with elements in the presidency has commenced moves to remove five governors who recently defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, it emerged last night.
The move was the outcome of deliberations by close associates of President Goodluck Jonathan who are working to weaken the opposition against a possible second term for the president.
At the centre of the move a national daily learnt last night, is a court action aimed at removing the five governors through an exparte court order to the effect that the seats occupied by the governors belong to the party and not the governors as individuals. On obtaining the court order, it was learnt that the governors would immediately be removed from office pending the outcome of appeals that they might lodge.
The legal team to press the case is aiming to use as a precedent, the legal dispute between Governor Rotimi Amaechi and former Governor Celestine Omehia.
Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State, one of the five governors who left the PDP flayed the alleged move yesterday as he accused the PDP of double standards and clear violation of the law.
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, however, flatly denied the claim yesterday saying that the PDP would not want to jeopardize ongoing peace talks with the governors recently rekindled by the president.
However, multiple sources close to some of the governors affected confirmed the move yesterday with the assertion that the presidency and the PDP had assembled a legal team comprising 12 Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SANs to lead the charge. The legal team it was learnt is led by a senior SAN from the South-South. Contacted on his participation in the legal move the SAN blurted yesterday “who told you, who told you” before cutting off the phone.
Besides Governor Nyako, the other governors being targeted by the legal action include Governors Amaechi of Rivers State, Rabiu Kwankwanso, Kano; Aliyu Wamakko, Sokoto; and Abdulfatah Ahmed, Kwara.
It was learnt that the legal team was yesterday shopping for a friendly judge to give an exparte order to the motion being prepared to the effect that the seat occupied by the governors belong to the party and not to the governors as individuals. The task of the team it was learnt would be to use the Supreme Court order on which Amaechi came to power in October 2007 where the court held that it was the party that was elected into office and not Omehia. That case arose from internal dispute over the validity of the party’s candidate for the election.