PDP members ask court to stop convention

National Chairman of the PDP, Bamangar Tukur

No respite yet for National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr. Bamanga Tukur, as three members of the party have asked a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to stop him from performing the duties of his office.

The members 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 PDP members are also seeking for an order 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.

But three members of the party, Mr. Abba Yale, Yahaya Sule and Bashir Maidugu, who had hitherto in a suit asked for the dissolution of the PDP NWC, had filed a fresh suit seeking 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


“You are free to leave PDP” – Wike dares Amaechi

Mr. Nyesom Wike continues to generate controversy, the minister has told the Governor to leave the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, if he so wishes.

Wike, who stated this while speaking with newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, also dismissed the Governor’s claim that he (the Minister) betrayed him.

He argued that he was behind Amaechi in 2006 during the PDP governorship primaries in the state.

Amaechi who was denied the PDP governorship ticket in 2006, was later proclaimed the PDP flag bearer by a judgment of the Supreme Court in 2007.

The Minister claimed that he led the struggle to ensure that Amaechi regained his stolen mandate.

The Governor, had at the 60th birthday of a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Joe Okocha, described Wike and a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representative, Mr. Austin Opara, as betrayers.

He also vowed to dump the PDP, if he was “suffocated” in the party.

“I lead the people of Rivers State and I will lead you. If they suffocate us in PDP and we need to move, we move” Amaechi threatened.

But dismissing Amaechi’s threat yesterday, the Minister said, “I don’t observe fasting; I have started fasting so that he would leave the PDP. Let us meet in the field. Let us convince the Rivers State people. Let him leave the PDP; it is getting too late. Let him leave now. Let us meet at the election.”

“When Amaechi was in Ghana, most people had given up the hope (that he would become a governor). I was chased by the EFCC.

“There was nothing that was not done to make me withdraw my support for Amaechi. I had everything with me to terminate Amaechi’s ambition.

“There was no offer that was not made to me, but I said ‘no’.”

The Minister regretted that Amaechi has decided to abandon him after he fought to reclaim his mandate in 2007.

He said, “I know those who were in the night going to Omehia’s house (the governor of the state in 2007) to beg him to make them Ambassadors.”

In a swift reaction, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, dismissed Wike’s claims, saying that the PDP would lose if Amaechi dumps the party.

Semenitari said, “That Governor Amaechi is loved, well respected locally, nationally and internationally is a known and obvious fact. The PDP would certainly lose a lot if Governor Amaechi ever leaves the party, which is more than anyone can say of the Minister who incidentally is a beneficiary of Governor Amaechi’s benevolence


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