Ebonyi PDP crisis: Court installs Nwebonyi-led state executive | Dailytrust

Ebonyi PDP crisis: Court installs Nwebonyi-led state executive

PDP logo
PDP logo

A Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, on Thursday, sacked the Fred Udeogu-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caretaker Committee.

The court, which restated the sacked state working committee led by Barr. Onyekachi Nwebonyi, described Hon. Udogu committee as illegal.

But the legal Adviser to Fred Udeogu-led PDP caretaker committee, Barr Mudi Erhenede, said they would appeal the judgment.

Erhenede further noted that they would get a ‘stay of execution’ against the ruling, pending the determination of the substantive appeal.

The Court also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to recognize the purported Caretaker Committee constituted by the national leadership of the PDP in Ebonyi State.

The order followed a suit filed by Barrister Nnachi Okoro, the legal adviser of Barr Nwebonyu-led PDP executive in the state that was dissolved last year November by the national leadership of the PDP.

The dissolution of Nwebonyi-led state executive came in the wake of the defection of Governor David Umahi to the All Progressives Congress.

The plaintiff, Okoro, had in the suit, argued that his purported removal from office as the Legal Adviser of the PDP by virtue of the dissolution of the purported State Executive Committee of the Party without a fair hearing was contrary to the party’s constitution and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The presiding Judge, Justice Aluko Akintayo, in a three hours judgement, ruled that the purported dissolution of the Executive Committee of the PDP in Ebonyi State, which led to the removal of the plaintiff, was not only absurd but inconsistent with the provisions of the party’s constitution as well as the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.

 

‘No evidence’ 

Justice Akintayo noted that the party acted harshly without any evidence of wrong doing against the plaintiff, adding that the defection of Governor David Umahi to the APC was in exercise of his fundamental human right of freedom of association and cannot be a justifiable ground to remove the plaintiff from office.

Akintayo held that the PDP failed to prove before the court, its allegations of anti-party activities and attempts to destabilize the PDP levelled against the Ebonyi State Executive Committee of the party.

According to the judge, even if there is truth in the allegations against the Ebonyi State Executive Committee of the party, it was unfair to have dissolved them including the plaintiff, without giving him fair hearing.

The Court further ruled that in view of section 2 of the PDP’s constitution, which is subject to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, there was no justification for the leadership of the party to have breached its own constitution.

The Court maintained that the plaintiff, having been duly elected to serve as the Legal Adviser of the PDP, had acquired a vested right to occupy the office until his tenure elapsed.

Consequently, the court declared the action of PDP illegal, null, and void, and ordered the party not to recognize any other legal adviser in Ebonyi State, until the expiration of the plaintiff’s tenure.

Barr Mazi Igbo Michael, who appeared for the defendants’ led Counsel, Kenneth Jamaze SAN, in an interview, said they would meet and decide on the next action.

Reacting, Barrister Onyekachi Nwwbonyi, welcomed the judgment, saying it is a victory for democracy.

Nwebonyi said, by the virtual of the judgment today, he remained the authentic chairman of the party in the state.

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