Anambra Guber: Uncertainty in PDP as court dissolves congresses
• Asks PDP to use the delegate lists from November 2017
• The new president cancels the elected ad hoc delegates
Chuks Okocha in Abuja and David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
Less than a week before the start of the primaries in the governorate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra state, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, canceled the Southeast Zone Congresses, which were held. held on March 6, 2021.
As a result, the High Court sacked the party’s state president, leader Ndubuisi Nwobu and replaced him with Ejike Oguebego, while ordering the PDP PDP to use the November 2017 delegate lists to conduct their elections. governor’s primaries.
Following the news, however, the court-installed president, Mr. Chukwudi Umeaba, announced the cancellation of recent party neighborhood congresses to elect three-man Adhoc delegates for the party’s upcoming primary elections.
But a factional party chairman in the state, Mr. Ndubuisi Nwobu, while reacting to the judgment of the court that installed Umeaba, dismissed the decision as irrelevant and of no consequence to the party, urging its members not to take it into account.
The local government congresses that are expected to produce the national delegates who will choose the candidate for the post of governor of the PDP are scheduled for June 17, 2021.
The plaintiff, Samuel Anyakorah had approached Judge OA Adeniyi of the High Court of Justice, Abuja Division, asking, among other things, the cancellation of the March congresses (1st defendant, PDP) from the existing list of party leaders and delegates. already inaugurated that emerged ”from the Anambra PDP congress held on November 28, 2017 and December 1, 2017, validated by the report of the congress appeal committee of Senator Grace Bent Ward under the supervision of Sir Chukwudi Umeaba as chairman by Acting of the Committee of State Guardians.
In the trial referenced HC / CV / 774/2021, Anyakorah, on behalf of himself and all the presidents of local authorities and district directors, which emerged from November 28, 2017 and December 1, 2017, by way of originating summons, requested a declaration that under Article 2 of the PDP Constitution (amended in 2017), “said constitution is supreme”, arguing that it is “binding on all members and organs of the PDP and that any action or measure contrary to the relevant provisions of the constitution is unlawful, illegal, null and void and of no effect.
The plaintiff also argued that it was illegal for the PDP, “whether at its Southeast Zone Convention on March 6, 2021, or at any other time, to adopt or publish the name of a president of state, alongside people claiming to be EXCO members, government presidents and national delegates without resorting to the officers and delegates that emerged in 2017.
He further requested an ordinance rescinding or revoking any congresses, appointments or appointments made by the PDP in relation to the state president for the PDP in Anambra state, members of EXCO, presidents of local governments and national delegates, among others.
It was then that the plaintiff further requested the court to obtain a perpetual injunction order prohibiting the PDP, his allies or his friends from recognizing or further processing the names of people on pages 14, 15 and 16. de la Bronchure for the Congress of the Southeast Zone of March 6, 2021, “either as President of the State, members of EXCO, presidents of local communities or national delegates of the PDP, Chapter of the State of ‘Anambra.
In its judgment of June 9, 2021, the court upheld the plaintiff’s prayer, citing article 2 of the PDP constitution,
According to Judge Adeniyi, after listening to the plaintiff, Anyakora, the presidents of the local government and the leaders of the neighborhoods that emerged from the PDP congresses of Anambra held on November 28, 2017 under the supervision of the chairman of the interim state committee said: “I find the merit of the plaintiff’s case and the same hereby succeeds. For the avoidance of doubt and the abundance of clarity, it is hereby decided that:
“It is declared that under article 2 of the Constitution of the Democratic People’s Party (amended in 2017), said Constitution is supreme and has binding force for all members and organs of the People’s Democratic Party, and any action or a measure taken in violation of the relevant provisions of the Constitution is unlawful, unlawful, null, void and without effect of any kind.
“It is further hereby declared that it is illegal for the 1st Respondent (PDP), whether at its Southeast Zone Convention on March 6, 2021, or at any time to adopt or publish the name of a state president, alongside people claiming to be its Exco members, local government presidents and national delegates, without recourse to the existing list of already inaugurated party leaders and delegates that emerged from the PDP congresses of Anambra held on November 28, 2017 and December 1, 2017, validated by Congress Senator Grace Bent Ward or Appeal Panel and Barrister Ukpai Ukairo Local Coverage Appeal Panel Report, under the supervision of Sir Chukwudi Umeaba, as as Acting Chairman, Committee of State Guardians.
“It is further hereby declared that the arbitrary imposition by the 1st Respondent on its members of a State President, Exco members, local government presidents and national delegates, such as appears on pages 14. 15 and 16 of the defendant’s brochure for the Southeast Zone Congress of March 6, 2021, in ultra vires of its power, illegal, invalid, null and void, ”said Judge Adebiyi .
In view of this, Judge Adebiyi further ordered that “All congresses, appointments or appointments made by the 1st Respondent with regard to the posts of State President of the State Chapter of the PDP Anambra, members of the ‘Exco and Presidents of Local Governments, as listed on pages 14, 15 and 16 of the Southeast Zone Congress brochure of March 6, 2021, are hereby canceled and dismissed for being invalid, illegal and ultra vires the powers of the 1st defendant, the same not being in accordance with the list of parties already inaugurated Officers and delegates from the PDP congresses of Anambra organized on November 28, 2017 and December 1, 2017, validated by the report of the committee of Congress appeal of Senator Grace Bent Ward and the report of the local government appeal committee of lawyer Ukpai Ukairo, under the supervision of Sir Chukwudi Umeaba, as interim state committee. Acting President.
Accordingly, Judge Adebiyi declared that “the first accused is hereby ordered and compelled that, in the conduct of all elections in Anambra State, to adopt, employ, recognize and d ” use only the list of already inaugurated Party leaders and delegates who emerged from the Anambra PDP. Congresses held on November 28, 2017 and December 1, 2017 validated by the report of the Congress Appeal Committee of Senator Grace Bent Ward and the report of the Local Government Appeal Committee of Lawyer Ukpai Ukairo, under the supervision of Sir Chukwudi Umeaba, who will continue to act in whose capacity they were duly elected.
“An injunction order is hereby issued, prohibiting the 1st defendant, whether himself, his friends, his allies or his representatives, from recognizing, treating or defending any person or group of people listed on pages 14, 15 and 16 of the brochure for the Southeast Zone Congress of March 6, 2021, either as state president, members of the Exco or government zone presidents Local People’s Democratic Party, Chapter of Anambra State, with the exception of the list of leaders and delegates of the Party already inaugurated that emerged from the PDP congresses of Anambra held on November 28, 2017 and December 1, 2017 , the report of the Congressional Appeal Committee of Senator Grace Bent Ward and the report of the Local Government Appeal Committee of lawyer Ukpai Ukairo, under the supervision of Sir Chukwudi Umeaba.
He maintained that all parties would bear their respective costs of the action.
The implication of this is that unless the party succeeds in the appeals court, if it chooses to challenge the lower court’s decision, it could find itself lining up parallel delegates in the November 6 elections, which could call for the replication of the Zamfara scenario. , which cost the All Progressives Congress, Northwestern State in 2019.
How the National Working Committee (NWC) led by Uche Secondus handles this slippery court decision will determine the party’s fate in Anambra, a state he ruled for a few years before losing to the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA ).
However, Umeaba, at a press conference yesterday, told reporters that: “Based on the above (his reinstatement), I, the Honorable Chukwudi Umeaba, the acting chairman of the interim committee of the PDP, Anambra State, working in concert with the terms of reference and the credentials of my office will make statements.
“I hereby suspend the parish congress of June 9 to elect an ad hoc committee of three people for the governorate primary. I will contact the NEC of our big party to give me a new date for the parish congresses which will elect the ad hoc committee of three men for the governorate primary.
He urged party members to remain calm and look forward to further developments as his leadership was there to ensure the party’s growth in the state. He insisted the primary elections would go ahead as planned and would not be truncated by the change in leadership.
Meanwhile, the emergence of a new party chairman in the state polarized the party, leaving many of its members to switch sides for the new leadership faction.
Party leader Mr. Samuel Anyakorah, who was present at the press conference described the Umeaba-led party as the genuine leadership of the party, having been unfairly removed from office in 2017.
“It was I who took the party to court because of this unjust act. We wrote to the then National Southeast Vice President, Mr. Austin Umahi and even His Excellency, Uche Secondus, but they ignored us.
“This is why we went to court, and thank God today the genuine leadership of the party has been restored. You can see how happy everyone is. We hope the party will continue now. “