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Court stops PDP convention

Posted by By GODWIN TSA and JAMES OJO, Abuja on 2005/10/11 | Views: 577 |

Court stops PDP convention


An Abuja High Court Monday declared as illegal the proposed non-elective convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The court also declared as null and void, the meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, where the non- elective convention was fixed.

An Abuja High Court Monday declared as illegal the proposed non-elective convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The court also declared as null and void, the meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, where the non- elective convention was fixed.


It also directed the PDP to organize the party’s congresses and convention only in accordance with the party’s rules and constitution.


Justice Sunday Aladetoyinbo, the presiding judge, in his judgment, held that it was illegal for the NWC of the PDP to have endorsed a convention to select its leaders other than through elections, adding that leadership should come into office through an election.


His words: "The party leadership is hereby restrained from implementing the decision of the NWC of September 9, 2005. The defendants (PDP, Col. Ahmadu Ali, PDP Chairman and Chief Ojo Maduekwe, National Secretary, PDP), are hereby directed to organize the party’s congresses and convention only in accordance with the party’s rules and constitution."


But dissatisfied with the judgment, counsel to PDP, Prince Kayode Adetokunbo (SAN) told journalists that he was going to appeal against the decision of the court.


Four aggrieved members of the PDP, Godie Ikechi, Abubakar Gomina, Salisu Abba and Yemi Ajayi, had taken the party to court over its decision to hold non-elective congresses and convention describing it as illegal, null and void.


The plaintiffs had challenged the non-elective convention approved by the NWC of the party, contending that the procedure adopted was contrary to both the party’s constitution as well as the provisions of the 1999 constitution.


In its judgment, the court held that, "the PDP cannot violate its constitution. The said convention is inconsistent with Article 16 of the PDP constitution and is hereby declared null and void. It is hereby ordered that the decision of the PDP NWC to conduct election by affirmation is hereby declared null and void. The NWC is barred from using its discretion to prescribe any other mode by which the National Executive Committee (NEC) members or other officers of the party can assume office.


"The use of the word ‘shall’ in the constitution is mandatory and must be complied with. It is a blatant illegality for the NWC of the PDP to resort to any other means other than by means of election to elect its leaders. Going ahead with the non- elective convention will bring about anarchy and would cause a breach of peace among its members. Party leadership should lead by example.


"The defendants are hereby directed to organize the party’s congresses and convention only in accordance with the party’s constitution," Justice Aladetoyinbo declared.
Meanwhile, the PDP which has expressed its dissatisfaction over the judgment has indicated its intention to proceed to the Court of Appeal to challenge the decision of the lower court.


"We salute the judiciary and the courage of the patriotic members of the PDP who sought refuge in the law court to protect their constitutional right. We of the Political Parties Alliance believe that the case is important to all Nigerians since it restores democracy to a party that is in control of the Federal Government and overwhelming majority of the states," PPA national cordinator, Maxi Okwu pointed out.


He accused PDP of throwing democratic norms away and sliding into a junta organisation since 1999, adding that "if PDP is not a democratic political party, it cannot deliver democracy to the Nigerian state."

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