The judge handling a suit seeking to impeach the Deputy Governor of Zamfara State, Mahadi Aliyu Gusau, Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court in Abuja, has withdrawn from the case.
Sources from Aliyu’s camp insinuate that Justice Egwuatu stepped aside following allegations of pressure he has been getting from powerful quarters within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to pave way to another judge who would be more amenable to sanction the impeachment moves.
However, it was gathered that at the resumed sitting on the suit,
Egwuatu bowed out of the case following information that a similar suit on the same subject matter was already pending before another judge of the court in Abuja division.
When the matter came up, Justice Egwuatu told senior lawyers in the case led by James Ogu Onoja, that he would no longer proceed with the hearing as earlier agreed.
He predicated his decision on the need to avoid a situation where two court could be made to give conflicting judgments on the same matter.
He subsequently ordered that the case be transferred to Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo, who has been adjudicating over a similar matter.
Egwuatu also directed that all processes filed in respect of the case before him be transferred immediately to Justice Ekwo’s court to ensure speedy hearing of the suit.
Egwuatu had, on July 19 stopped the Zamfara State House of Assembly members from proceeding with any moves to impeach Aliyu over his refusal to decamp from the People Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC.
The judge had also restrained the Chief Judge of Zamfara State from constituting any panel for the purpose of investigating the Deputy Governor pending the determination of a motion on notice filed by PDP.
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