Festus Keyamo, minister of state for labour and employment, says there is no law against the decision of Bello Matawalle, Zamfara governor, to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Matawalle joined the ruling party on June 29.
On the eve of his defection, the PDP said Matawalle’s seat will become vacant if he defects to the APC.
But in a statement on Tuesday, Keyamo said section 221 of the constitution as well as the judgment of the supreme court in Faleke vs the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which the party is hinging on to make its claim, does not relate to defection of a governor from one party to another.
“To give its illogical assertions some veil of constitutionality, the PDP placed reliance on Section 221 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) as well as the judgment of the Supreme Court in FALEKE V. INEC,” the minister said.
“Unfortunately for the PDP, the Supreme Court decision in Faleke v. INEC does not relate to the consequence of the defection of a Governor from one political party to the other.
“It is extremely laughable that the PDP that celebrated the defection of Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State from the APC to the PDP with such elaborate ballyhoo and fanfare would muster the effrontery to attempt to remove Governor Bello Matawalle from office for defecting to the APC.
“Once again, it is simply ridiculous.”
While citing a number of supreme court cases, Keyamo argued that a party’s ticket is only a vehicle to get elected.
“Once elected, the governor drops that party ticket and becomes a free agent for EVERYONE in that state,” he said.
“He is therefore free to associate (and decamp) as he likes to any political party. The supreme court judgment on Zamfara did not proscribe APC as a political party in the state.
“I also wonder the audacity the PDP has to directly instruct banks not to transact any business with a duly elected Governor. This is such a joke that it portrays the PDP as a comedy troupe.
“It is also very seditious to attempt to shut down or take over the government of Zamfara state without a court order and by unconstitutional means.”