BY MAYOWA SAMUEL
A former Governor of Gombe State, Mohammed Goje, has filed an appeal against the judgment which upheld his dismissal from the ruling All Progressives Congress.
The Senator representing Gombe Central Senatorial District also filed a stay of execution at the Court of Appeal in Abuja.
Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court had on June 27, dismissed the suit filed by Goje challenging his dismissal from the APC for lacking in merit.
In an appeal dated July 4 and filed through his counsel, Paul Erokoro, SAN, Goje told the Court of Appeal that the lower court erred in its finding that his right to a fair hearing was not violated, when the hearing was conducted in absentia and on an earlier date than the notice to him.
He submitted that the trial judge’s reliance on the technicality that the deponent was a practicing lawyer in the law firm representing Goje although he was not involved in the suit, was not substantial justice.
More so, he said the letter to him by the Tanimu Abdullahi committee did not state the particulars of the alleged anti-party activities, adding that he had shown that the notice was actuated by malice.
He pleaded with the appellate court to maintain the status quo in the matter pending the determination of the appeal.
Recall that Goje was dismissed by the APC Kashere Ward in Akko Local Government Area of the state over allegations of anti-party activities.
The former governor had filed a suit to challenge his dismissal from the APC by the Kashere Ward Executive Committee of the party.
However, the court presided over by Justice Obiora Egwuatu dismissed the suit for want of merit.
The judge held that the erstwhile governor was given enough opportunity to appear before an investigative committee formed by the party to look into allegations leveled against him, but he failed to do so.
Moreover, the court maintained that there was proof of evidence including a newspaper publication, where he was summoned to appear before the committee, with details of the meeting clearly stated.
As a result, the court held that there was no evidence before it to establish that his right to a fair hearing was denied.
It held that the plaintiff, having deliberately shunned the invitation, could not turn around to allege that his right to a fair hearing was violated.
Earlier in April, Goje was suspended and later dismissed from the APC over an allegation that he engaged in anti-party activities.
He was accused of contempt and disloyalty towards the party leadership in Gombe State including working against candidates of the party that contested the state Assembly, Governorship and National Assembly elections.
He was also accused of refusing to attend presidential and other local campaign events of the APC.
He was later expelled from the party following the report of an investigative panel set up by the Kashere Ward Executive Committee of the party and affirmed by the Ward Excos.