Impeached deputy governor, Gusau re-enters Zamfara governorship race, picks PDP forms


Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Wednesday, confirmed that the impeached Zamfara Deputy Governor, Barrister Mahdi Aliyu, has picked the Nomination and Expression of Interest forms of the party to contest the governorship election in the state in 2023.

Ex-Deputy Governor of Zamfara State, Mahdi Aliyu

Gusau was, last month, impeached by the Zamfara House of Assembly after months of rancour in the state bordering on his refusal to join Governor Bello Matawalle, along with members of the Assembly and legislators from the state at the House of Representatives and senate who had defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) en masse.

The impeachment which drew condemnations from the PDP also saw the opposition party head to the Federal High Court in Abuja to challenge the defections of the officials originally elected under its platform.

Making the announcement of Gusau’s entry into the race, the PDP wrote: “The Deputy Governor of Zamfara State, Aliyu Mohammed Gusau, has obtained his expression of Interest and nomination forms to contest the Gubernatorial Election in Zamfara State in 2023”.

The Zamfara Deputy Governor, Gusau was impeached by the State House of Assembly on Wednesday, February 23.

In a unanimous vote, House impeached the deputy governor who had sworn to remain in the now opposition PDP despite the State Governor, Bello Matawalle defecting since last year, in a move that has rippled into a political conflict in the state.

During the plenary, 20 out 24 members of the APC-controlled House voted for the impeachment of the Deputy Governor after the report submitted by the judicial panel of investigation found him guilty of the allegations levelled against him.

The panel had Justice Halidu Tanko-Soba as Chairman, with Oladipo Okpeseyi (SAN), as Deputy Chairman and Abdul-Atadoga Ibrahim (SAN), Hussaini Zakariyau (SAN), Amina Tanimu-Marafa , Alhaji Sani Mande and Ahmad Buhari-Rabah , as members.

The report of the panel was read by the Speaker of the Assembly Nasiru Muazu Magarya and was adopted by members of the Assembly.

The panel presented its report to the speaker which was acted upon in removing Gusau from office.

Submitting the report, Okpeseyi said the panel had done its duty with utmost integrity and diligence and had compiled the report based on the evidences it gathered in the course of its duty.

According to him, the panel is not empowered by the Nigerian Constitution to speak about its report or make it available to any person.

Okpeseyi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said the probe panel only produced two copies of the report and has visited the assembly complex to present the report to the speaker.

The panel, inaugurated by the Zamfara State Chief Judge, Kulu Aliyu, to investigate allegations against the deputy governor began its proceedings Monday afternoon in Gusau.

Meanwhile, Senator Muhammad Hassan Nasiha, representing Zamfara Central Senatorial District, has been nominated as the state’s new State Deputy Governor.

At the resumed plenary, the speaker of the House, Nasiru Mua’zu, read a letter from the state Governor Bello Matawalle nominating Senator Muhammad as the deputy governor of Zamfara State.

It would also be recalled that a Federal High Court, Abuja, had in July, 2021 restrained the Zamfara House of Assembly from impeaching the Deputy Governor of the state, Mahdi Gusau.

Justice Obiora Egwuatu gave the order while delivering a ruling in an ex-parte motion with suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/650/2021 brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), through its Lawyer, Ogwu Onoja, SAN.

Egwuatu, who ordered the defendants to maintain status quo pending the heating and determination of the motion on notice, also stopped the house from impeaching its other members who are still in the PDP.

He directed the plaintiff to serve all the defendants in the suit and adjourned the matter until July 23 for hearing of the motion on notice.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), APC, Senate President, Speaker of House of Representatives, Speaker of Zamfara House of Assembly, Governor Matawalle and Chief Judge of Zamfara are 1st to 7th defendants respectively.