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VICE President Atiku Abubakar and Governor Boni Haruna of Adamawa State have filed a suit at the State High Court, praying it to stop moves by the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to sanction them for alleged anti-party activities.
* Tinubu probes Lagos attack on VP
* PDP lifts suspension on Atiku, Haruna
YOLA — VICE President Atiku Abubakar and Governor Boni Haruna of Adamawa State have filed a suit at the State High Court, praying it to stop moves by the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to sanction them for alleged anti-party activities.
Simultaneously, the National Secretariat of the PDP yesterday lifted the suspension placed on Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Governor Boni Haruna.
On its part, the state chapter of the PDP threatened yesterday to expel all members of the state Assembly who attended last Thursday’s launch of the newly registered Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD), while Governor Bola Tinubu of Lagos State, yesterday, inaugurated a five-man Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate the April 8 attack on the Vice President at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja.
Vice President Atiku and Governor Haruna in their suit are seeking an order of the court to restrain the defendants, their agents, officers or representatives from effecting their (plaintiffs’) suspension pending the hearing and determination of the suit.
The defendants are the PDP, Senator Jubril Aminu, General Buba Marwa (rtd), Chief Paul Wanpana (National Vice Chairman of PDP, North-East Zone), Admiral Murtala Nyako (rtd); General Abdullahi Shelleng (rtd), and Chief Joel Madaki (Second Chairman of the PDP).
In an affidavit in support of the suit by Tahir A. Shehu, secretary of a faction of the PDP said: "I know as a fact that neither the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 nor the constitution of the 1st defendant recognises any such Adamawa Stakeholders of the 1st defendant as an organ of the 1st defendant.
"That I also know that no decision or resolution of the 1st defendant was taken in Adamawa State or any where in the country to form or constitute anybody known as Adamawa Stakeholders in the PDP. The plaintiffs have legal rights to be protected by the institution of this suit."
The case is slated for hearing on Friday.
Vice President Atiku and Governor Haruna were Tuesday last week suspended from the PDP by stakeholders of the party for alleged anti-party activities.
PDP lifts suspension
The lifting of the suspension was contained in a letter sent to the Adamawa chapter of the party by the National Chairman, Dr Ahmadu Ali dated April 20, 2006.
The letter reads: "Following the National Executive Committee approval to investigate the allegations of funding opposition parties and general contravention of our party’s constitution by Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Governor Boni Haruna and action taken by the Adamawa Stakeholders of the PDP Yola against the two high ranking members of the party, the National Working Committee (NWC) hereby reverses the suspensions order on the Vice President and Governor Boni Haruna pending the outcome of investigations on alleged offences committed by them against the party’s constitution.
"You are, therefore, to stay further necessary action on the matter until further directive from National headquarters."
The letter also directed all stakeholders in the state to refrain from further public statement on the matter while all party members in the state were enjoined to close ranks.
PDP threatens sack
Also yesterday, the state chapter of the PDP threatened to expel all members of the state House of Assembly who attended the launching of the Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD), Thursday, in Abuja.In a statement in Abuja, the party Chairman, Chief Joel Madaki, said the attendance of the members of the state Assembly had vindicated the position of the PDP in the state that Governor Haruna and Vice President Atiku were working against the interest of the PDP in the state.
His words: "A week ago, I issued a statement in which I raised certain salient issues bordering on the loyalty of Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Governor Boni Haruna to the People’s Democratic Party in Adamawa State. I made it clear that the duo whom the PDP had toiled hard and invested so heavily upon had turned their backs on it.
"Thursday, 20th April 2006 at the launching of the Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD) declaration, the entire functionaries of Adamawa State government including the Speaker of the state House of Assembly moved to Abuja to attend the inauguration of the new found party.
"Having openly associated and declared their membership of the ACD, they should no longer delay in honourably bowing out of the PDP before being shown the way out for ignoring the PDP national leadership," he said.
Tinubu probes attack
Governor Bola Tinubu of Lagos State yesterday inaugurated a five-man Judicial Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice Fatai Adeyinka (rtd), immediate past Chief Judge of the state, to investigate the April 8 attack on Vice President Atiku by some people who invaded his private residence in Ikoyi and the Presidential Wing of the Murtala Mohammed Domestic Airport, Ikeja.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Otunba Olufemi Pedro, at the inauguration gave the terms of reference of the commission as follows:
To identify persons or groups involved in the incident; to investigate their motives and mode of operation; to determine the social and security implication of the incident; to make appropriate recommendations that may assist in preventing a breakdown of law and order in similar circumstances.
Decrying the attack on the Vice President, Governor Tinubu said the incident "constituted a serious breach of security, and that it happened in Lagos where I have the privilege of being the Chief Security Officer, is a cause of great concern to me personally.
"Can you imagine a situation, God forbids, where the Vice President was injured or killed in this incident? Given the political situation at the moment, would people in different parts of the country not say that there was a plan to harm him in the South-West of Nigeria?"