Members ask court to stop PDP convention
Three members of Peoples Democratic Party have gone to a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja praying that its chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur, be stopped from performing the duties of his office.
They are also seeking an order of the Court to set aside the pronouncement of the June 20 PDP National Executive Committee meeting, which led to the appointment of about 18 acting national officers of the party.
The members – Mr. Abba Yale, Yahaya Sule and Bashir Maidugu - also want an order of r of interlocutory injunction, restraining the PDP 'and all its agents, including its national chairman and any other person or group of persons acting for and on behalf of the defendant (PDP) from convening and or holding any meeting or convention in furtherance of the decision of the NEC of the defendant made during the pendency of this suit, pending the hearing and determination of this case'.
The PDP NEC had directed about 20 members of the party's National Working Committee to vacate their positions, following a report of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
INEC, in the report, had noted that the emergence of the affected officers through voice votes, as against proper election, was a contravention of the party's guidelines for congresses and conventions.
The aggrieved members had earlier gone to , for an Order of the Court to set aside and nullify all the processes that led to the appointment of all the acting national officers.
They said in their prayers before the court that the appointment of the interim officers through memoranda, all dated 'June 20, 2013 with reference number NEC/61/104/13 and NEC/61/105/13, addressed to the National Executive Committee of the defendant herein during the pendency of this suit was being done to pre-empt the decision of this court, in absolute self-help and in total disobedience and contempt of this honourable court.'
In the suit filed on their behalf by Samuel Okutepa, SAN, the PDP members submitted that the action of their party's NEC in asking the officers indicted to relinquish their positions amounted to self-help, in view of a subsisting case on the matter.
Apart from the above, they are also asking the court to 'restrain the National Chairman of the defendant (PDP) herein from performing any functions or duties assigned to the National Working Committee of the defendant pending the hearing and determination of this case.'
The presiding judge, Justice Suleiman Belgore, had earlier struck out the names of the former NWC members, whose election/appointment the plaintiffs had initially asked the court to nullify.
The judge struck out the names after an oral application moved by Okutepa.
The case had since been adjourned till July 15.
Meanwhile, Tukur has said that he is not too old to lead the party.
Tukur spoke while reacting to the comment made by the Anglican Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Emmanuel Chukwuma, asking him and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the party, Chief Tony Anenih, to step down as a result of old age and allow the younger ones take over.
He said that at his age, he was not too old to give service to his fatherland.
His media assistant, Mr. Oliver Okpara, in a statement said, 'The statement attributed to the Bishop is absolute hogwash and absolute nonsense by referring to the two elder statesmen who have contributed immensely to the development, peace and progress of this country as too old to be in politics.
'The Bishop has revealed by his utterances against the two elder statesmen an innate hatred for them, yet, the Bible which ought to be the fulcrum and pivot of Bishop Chukwuma's religion as a man of God abhors and condemns hatred. The Bible even teaches us further that one should love his neighbour like himself.'