A Federal High Court in Abuja has postponed a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to effect the removal of five governors who defected from the party to the All Progressives Congress, APC in October.
The Governors concerned are Rabiu Kwankawso of Kano, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara, Aliyu Wammako of Sokoto and Murtala Nyako of Adamawa.
Justice Gabriel Kolawaole based his ruling on the fact that the PDP did not properly serve the Governors the summons.
He held that the PDP failed to follow the procedures allowed by law in reaching the defendants since December 10 when the court action was instituted.
The court agreed with lawyers to the governors that they have not been served with court papers and as such the court cannot assume jurisdiction until the plaintiff –PDP- has done the needful on the effective service of the court summon.
The service of court process allegedly executed at No. 40, Blantyre Street, being the new office of the APC, was declared illegal, invalid, and defective; and was dismissed by the court for not having its endorsement.
Justice Kolawole held that the service of originating summons by the plaintiff on the defendant was fundamental before any court can take further action against any defendant. He added that in the instant case, the service done by PDP was not in conformity with the procedure of the court.
The judge adjourned the case sine-die –indefinitely- pending the time the plaintiff will comply with the law in the service of the originating summons on the five governors.
Mr. Kolawole asked PDP to formally write the court and attach the evidence of proper service of court processes on the defendants before any action could be taken against the governors.
The PDP had claimed that in line with the courts’ order obtained on December 13, 2013, the originating summons was taken to No. 6 Bissau Street, Wuse Zone 6; before the ruling party discovered that the APC had vacated the office and relocated to No. 40, Blantyre Street, Abuja as the new office.
PDP claimed that the originating summons and other court papers were subsequently delivered to the new office for onward delivery by the APC to the governors.
But Justice Kolawole agreed with the governors that the service at 40 Blantyre Street was invalid, ineffective, and faulty because the order of the court for service did not embody the address.
The judge said what the plaintiff –PDP- ought to have done was to come back to the court to legally vary the order of service before it can be effective on 40, Blantyre Street, being the new APC National Secretariat.