Citing a recent warning handed judicial officers by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Mohammad, over abuse of court processes, Justice Tijjani Ringim, of the Federal High Court in Lagos, yesterday, refused to entertain a suit by the embattled National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus,
The suit sought to restrain the party and its national officers from calling, summoning or presiding over any meeting except the one convened by himself, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
Secondus, had also prayed the court to restrain them from calling meeting of any committee of the party, any congress of the party, the National Working Committee, the National Executive Committee, the National Convention except the one he called.
But, in ruling on the application, Justice Ringim, declined to entertain the suit on the ground that it was unripe for hearing and that the defendants were yet to respond to the motion.
Applicants in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/1117/2021, included Honourable Eddy Olafeso, Alhaji Rashidi Olakunle Sunmonu, Honourable Daisi Akintan, Honourable Bunmi Jenyo and Honourable Wahab Owokoniran.
Those joined as respondents were Secondus, Elder Yomi Akinwonmi (PDP Deputy National Chairman, South), Senator Suleiman (PDP Deputy National Chairman, North), Senator Ibrahim Tsauri (National Secretary, PDP), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).
At the resumed hearing of the matter, yesterday, counsel to the applicants, Chimezie Victor Ihekweazu (SAN), informed the court that his client’s Motion on Notice was for hearing and that all parties in the suit had been put on notice.
But a lawyer, Mr. Chucks Ugo, announced his appearance for the party and Senator Ibrahim Tsauri, the party’s national Secretary (first and fifth respondents) while Mr. Oladayo Ilori, also claimed to be representing all the defendants except Secondus (second defendant) in the suit.
Both Chucks and Oladayo informed the court that they all had the mandate of the respondents to represent them in the suit.
Justice Ringim, after taking arguments on the issue of representation, however, held that the two counsel were in disharmony and could not represent a client.
Consequently, Justice Ringim urged the parties to resolve the issue of legal representation.
He also held that since the applicants’ processes were served on the respondents on September 2, 2021, the respondents were still within time to file their responses, adding that the motion was unripe for hearing.
The judge cited the recent directive from the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, on conflicting orders issued from the courts and urged the applicants to explain to the court if the present suit was not an abuse of court process.
The judge, therefore, directed that the suit would be returned to the admin Judge for reassignment, as there was no urgency in the affidavit filed by the applicants to warrant hearing it during vacation.
The applicants were seeking “an interlocutory order of injunction restraining the first, third, fourth and fifth defendants by themselves, their servants, agents, privies or any member of the defendant whatsoever, other than the 2nd defendant; from calling, summoning or presiding over any meeting of the party whatsoever including the meeting of any committee of the party, any congress of the party, the National Working Committee, the National Executive Committee, the National Convention and all other organs or bodies of the party pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
“An interlocutory order of injunction restraining the first, third, fourth and fifth defendants by themselves, their servants, agents, privies, associates or whosoever from stopping, disturbing or in any way interfering with the excise or the continues exercise by the 2nd Defendant (Secondus) of the powers, duties and functions of his office as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) or from limiting or usurping his Powers, functions and duties as provided for under the constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
“An interlocutory order directing the second defendant/Respondent to forthwith resume the exercise of all his Powers, Duties, function and privileges at the National Chairman of the first defendant as guaranteed him under the Constitution of the first defendant as amended in 2017 pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
“An interlocutory order of injunction restraining the first, third, fourth and fifth defendants/respondents by themselves, their servants, agents, privies, associates or whosoever during the tenure in office of the second defendant, from communicating, sending any correspondence or making any requests or establishing any manner of official contact whatsoever on behalf of the first defendant with the sixth and seventh defendants and all agencies or organs of the Federal Government under the supervision and control of the seventh defendant; other than through the 2nd Defendant or on his direction or authorization pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
“An interlocutory order of injunction restraining ‘the sixth and seventh defendants, and all agencies or organs of the Federal Government under the supervision and control of the seventh defendant, from receiving or maintaining any communication or request whatsoever from any organ or official of the first Defendant or acting on any such request other than from the second defendant or at his direction or authorization pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”
Wike reveals plan if Jonathan joins APC
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has disclosed what he would do if former President, Goodluck Jonathan defects to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Wike vowed not to support Jonathan if he defects to APC to contest in the 2023 presidential election.
Speaking with BBC Pidgin, the governor, however, pledged to support Jonathan if he runs for the presidency on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The governor explained that he would support Jonathan because they both hail from the same South-South region of the country.
He said: “When you said pick ticket, from which party? Is it APC or PDP?.
“To pick ticket means you’re representing the interest of a party. I’m in PDP and I will not be involved in anti-party activities. If he is APC, I won’t support him because I’m not into that kind of politics.
“It is not about ethnicity for me, but about the party. If he joins APC I can’t support him.”
There are rumours of Jonathan planning to defect to the APC ahead of 2023.
Against this backdrop, the APC said it would welcome the former president if he opts to join the party.
PDP reacts to Femi Fani-Kayode’s defection to APC
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has broken its silence following the decision of its chieftain, Femi Fani-Kayode to join the All Progressives Congress.
On Thursday at the presidential villa, FFK was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari as the newest member of the ruling party by the governor of Yobe State and Chairman of the APC’s Caretaker Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni, and the governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawale.
In his speech to the press after the meeting, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode stated that his reason for decamping from the opposition party is to unite the nation and that his move also would encourage others too.
Furthermore, he added that he was instrumental to three PDP governors absconding into the APC, naming governors Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, Ben Ayade of Cross River State, and Bello Matawale of Zamfara State.
He further said that he has friends across party lines and was wooing the governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, and the governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed to join the ruling party.
Kola Ologbondiyan, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP said ”The party wishes him the best in his future vocation”.
Senator Shehu Sani defects to PDP
Senator Shehu Sani, who represented the Kaduna Central Senatorial district in the National Assembly, has joined the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Sani was elected a senator on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) into the eight assembly from 2015 to 2019.
The Senator was unable to return to the senate in 2019 following an unresolved issue with serving Governor Nasir el-Rufai.
The controversies stopped him from getting the party ticket, which forced him to defect to the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) under which he contested but lost.
Recently the senator dumped the PRP but he did not state his new party.
His close aide, Malam Suleiman Ahmed, confirmed his defection on Thursday, when he had a meeting with relevant PDP stakeholders in Kaduna.
“Yes, Distinguished Senator Shehu Sani has finally settled to join the PDP but official ceremony and reception will be in the next two weeks all things being equal,” he said.
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