Court dismisses APP’s application, adjourns suit against Gov. Matawalle

Gov. Bello Matawalle of  of Zamfara State

Former Gov. Bello Matawalle of of Zamfara State

The Federal High Court sitting in Gusau on Thursday dismissed the application brought by Action People’s Party (APP) seeking to be joined in the alleged perjury suit against Gov. Bello Matawalle.

Justice Aminu Bappa-Aliyu dismissed the application for lack of merit and adjourned to Nov. 7, 2022, for a hearing of the substantive suit.

Mr Usman Ndaliman, Counsel to the APP on Oct. 27, brought the application seeking to be joined as the third claimant in the substantive suit.

The Northern Youth Assembly and one Mannir Haidara had initiated the suit as the first and second claimants in the suit.

In the substantive suit, the plaintiffs claimed that there were discrepancies in the academic and birth certificates Matawalle presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to contest in the 2023 governorship election.

The case, earlier filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, was transferred to the Federal High Court Gusau, and was listed for mention on Oct. 4, and adjourned to Oct.19, for further mention.

When the case came up on Oct. 19, the judge again, adjourned the matter to Oct. 27, for a definite hearing.

At the resumed hearing on Oct. 27, the APP counsel drew the attention of the court to an application filed by his client seeking to be joined in the suit as a claimant.

Ndaliman said his motion followed an application dated Oct. 20 and filed Oct. 21, before the court.

He said that the APP’s application was accompanied by an affidavit and a written address.

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Counsel to Matawalle and three other respondents acknowledged that they had been served with copies of the application.

The other respondents include the All Progressives Congress (APC), its Zamfara state chairman, Alhaji Tukur Danfulani, and INEC.

The counsel did not object to the application, and the court, therefore adjourned to Monday, Oct. 31 to rule on the APP’s application, which was shifted to Thursday, Nov. 3.

However, counsel to Matawalle, Ahmed Raji, SAN, filed a motion of preliminary objection on the matter.

He said that the “plaintiffs were not known to law” as they were not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission as required by law.

The documents provided by the plaintiffs contained in suit number FHC/GS/CS/27/2022, claimed there were three different dates of birth submitted on three occasions to INEC by Matawalle between 2015 and 2022.

The petitioners claimed that the documents Matawalle presented to INEC for the 2015, 2019, and 2023 elections regarding his secondary school qualifications were also not the same.

They prayed the court to declare a case of perjury and non-possession of a valid minimum secondary school certificate against the Zamfara governor.

However, Bappa-Aliyu dismissed the APP application, saying however that the party was capable of instituting a fresh suit against the defendants without prejudice.

He adjourned the case to Nov. 7, for a definite hearing.

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