A High Court sitting in Makurdi, Benue State, Friday upheld the removal of Dr Iyorchia Ayu as the national chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
Ayu was earlier dragged to the court by a member of the PDP in Benue State, Engr. Conrad Terhide Utaan, after his Igyorov ward executive committee suspended him following a vote of no confidence passed on him.
The Chief Judge of Benue State, Justice Maurice Ikpambese, delivered judgment on the matter after past adjournments on the suit and following the adoption of processes by parties in the matter.
Ikpambese held that: “His (Ayu) membership elapsed with his failure to pay his membership dues.”
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The judge also noted that, “Going by the provisions of Article 46(1) of the PDP constitution, the ward executive committee of the PDP has the powers to discipline a member of the National Executive Committee of the party.”
“The first defendant (Ayu) did not contest his suspension by the Igyorov ward executive, nor did he initiate any suit challenging his suspension. He has left the court with no option than to believe that he has consented to his suspension.
The first defendant’s (Ayu) membership of the second defendant (PDP) elapsed with his failure to pay his membership and subscription fee,” he said.
He explained that Ayu had lost his membership of the party even before he was suspended by his ward executive committee.
Ikpambese accordingly resolved all the issues in favour of the plaintiff, stressing that, “the plaintiff has proven his case, all the questions for determination have been resolved in favour of the plaintiff; he is entitled to all the reliefs sought. I ordered it.”
Earlier, in suit No: MHC/85/2023, the plaintiff, Utaan, sought among other reliefs a declaration that, Ayu was no longer fit and qualified to hold office as the national chairman of the PDP, having lost membership of the party in his Igyorov Council Ward of Gboko, where he first registered as a member of the party.
Counsel to the plaintiff, Mike Assoh, has however described the judgment as sound, adding that the court has validated the action of the Igyorov ward executive committee of the party against Ayu, for his (Ayu) failure to pay his membership subscription fee.