Nnamdi Felix / Abuja
Arrangements for the forthcoming special convention of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, were on Thursday halted by an Abuja High Court which restrained the party from proceeding to conduct the planned convention.
Justice Suleiman Belgore, ordered the PDP to “allow sanity to reign” and to refrain from proceeding with the conduct or convocation of any form of convention “whether special or ordinary,” for the purpose of electing any officer into the office of the PDP pending the determination of a suit filed by some aggrieved members of the party.
The court’s orders came through a ruling on an interlocutory application by some aggrieved party members who raised issues against the party’s decision to appoint some people to act in the place of members of the party’s National Working Committee, NWC, who resigned midway into the case that challenged the process of their election.
Justice Belgore however refused to nullify the appointment of the acting members of the party’s NWC or restrain the party’s National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur from performing any of the NWC’s functions pending the determination of the case as demanded by the aggrieved party chieftains.
The judge based his refusal on he fact that both requests were not part of the issues placed before the court for determination in the originating summons.
He frowned at the decision of the PDP to take certain steps capable of foisting a state of helplessness on the court and held that, having submitted itself to the jurisdiction of the court, that the PDP was obligated to await the decision of the court in the case.
“it is recklessness of some high degree for the PDP to have taken steps that could affect the case before the court. One would expect the party to allow sanity to reign and tarry a while to await the outcome of the this case,” the judge said.
The court had earlier refused to grant a preliminary objection by the PDP seeking for the dismissal of the case on the ground that events have overtaken it.
The party had argued that the resignation of members of its NWC, whose election the substantive suit was challenging, had rendered the suit worthless.
But the judge held otherwise. He noted that there were still live issues to be determined in the case.
The live issues, according to the court, were whether the PDP acted legally, in the light of the provision of Article 3 of the party’s constitution, in the appointment of its national officers; and whether the court could nullify the said appointment and compel the party to conduct fresh convention.
The judge held that it was immaterial that the party’s NWC members had resigned, and that the court would still determine the issues since their offices were still in existence.
At the proceedings on Thursday, the court obliged the party’s national chairman following an application he brought to be joined in the matter. Further proceeding in the case was thereafter adjourned to 29th July for the determination of the remaining issues in the substantive suit.
The aggrieved party memebers, Abba Yale, Yahaya Sule and Bashir Maigudu had approached the court to challenge the process of election of the former members of the PDP’s NWC and want the court to
nullify the election of the former NWC members in view of a report by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which faulted their election on the ground that the process was in breach of the party’s constitution.
Source: PM News
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