Court Clears the Stage for PDP Convention…As Secondus Loses Appeal

Court Clears the Stage for PDP Convention…As Secondus Loses Appeal

Hurdles stacked against the holding of the national convention by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scheduled for Abuja October 30 and 31, were finally removed by the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt, which dismissed the appeal filed by the suspended national Chairman Prince Uche Secondus seeking an interim injunction to restrain the party

Hurdles stacked against the holding of the national convention by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scheduled for Abuja October 30 and 31, were finally removed by the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt, which dismissed the appeal filed by the suspended national Chairman Prince Uche Secondus seeking an interim injunction to restrain the party from proceeding with its national convention.

The three-man panel dismissed the appeal which was filed on October 14, 2021, for lacking in merit. The judgement was read by Justice Gabriel Kolawale which was unanimously endorsed by the other two members of the panel.

There has been apprehension whether the convention would hold because of two cases challenging the suspension of the National Chairman Prince Uche Secondus by his ward executives and another one proposing that Prince Uche Secondus be allowed to preside over the national convention in accordance with the Party’s constitution.

Both suits have now been laid to rest with the court saying that they lack merit. The Appeal Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State,d today decide that the PDP should go ahead with the conduct of its national convention. It has been a week of legal gymnastics and manouvers from all the parties concerned.

During Thursday’s proceedings, Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), counsel to Prince Secondus, argued that refusing to grant his application to stop the PDP convention can be likened to “pulling off the rug under the feet of the appellant.”

He further submitted that his client would be permanently denied the right to preside over or participate in the convention if the pending applications bordering on his leadership and membership status do not go in his favour.

But his submission was opposed by Henry Bello, counsel to the first to fifth respondents, who are the PDP chairmen in five Local Government Areas of Rivers State. The chairmen are challenging Secondus’s right to resume as National Chairman of the PDP following his suspension from the party in his ward in Ikuru Town, Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers.

The opposition by Bello was supported by lawyer to the PDP, Sunday Ameh (SAN). He submitted that Secondus voluntarily handed over authorities of his office to a subordinate who has been acting lawfully as the National Chairman and is bestowed with the right to preside over the National Convention.

According to him, “the balance of convenience in the matter is in not granting the application to stop the convention.”

Also, Donald Dee-Nwigwe (SAN), representing the ninth and 10th respondents, picked holes in the argument by Oyetibo that the conduct of the national convention will be a denial of Secondus’ right to preside over the convention.

Meanwhile, thousands of PDP delegates have started arriving Abuja for the convention which will produce a brand new National Working Committee of the Party. Though several positions have already been returned unopposed including that of the Chairman Senator Ayu there are still some positions to be contested for.

One position that is generating big attention is that of the Deputy National Chairman which has been zoned to the south west. It is being contested for by former Osun State Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola and incumbent National Vice Chairman, South West, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja.

Ayo Aluko-Olokun
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