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Court declares Anyanwu as valid PDP National Secretary

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, declared Sen. Samuel Anyanwu as the valid  national secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment, made an order of injunction, restraining the national leadership of the PDP from appointing any person as acting national secretary when Anyanwu’s four-year tenure is still running and subsisting until Dec. 9, 2025, in line with party’s constitution.

 

Justice Ekwo also declared that any meeting held or resolution reached by the party to prematurely remove or prevent Anyanwu from exercising the powers of his office would be in violation of Article 47 (1) of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017), hence, becomes null and void and of no effect.

The judge also restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) “from recognising any purported appointment of any person as national secretary of the party whether in acting capacity or otherwise other than Anyanwu, the elected national secretary of the 1st defendant (PDP).”

The court had, on Nov. 23, 2023, stopped the PDP from removing Anyanwu as national secretary pending the hearing and determination of the substantive matter.

The order followed an ex-parte motion by Dr Joshua Musa, SAN, on behalf of two members of the party; Geoffrey Ihentuge and Apollo’s Godspower.

While Ihentuge is the Ikeduru Local Government chairman of the PDP in Imo, Godspower is the PDP chairman in Owerri Municipal Local Government of the state.

The plaintiffs had sued the PDP; Umar Damagun, party’s acting national chairman; National Executive Committee (NEC); the National Working Committee (NWC) and INEC as 1st to 5th defendants respectively.

The plaintiffs, who sought five reliefs, prayed for an order of interim injunction, restraining the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th defendants from carrying out the threat to remove the national secretary (Anyanwu).

This, they said, was in violation of the provisions of Article 47 (1) of the Constitution of the PDP (as amended in 2017) pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

They argued that Anyanwu was duly elected on Dec. 10, 2021, and was entitled to remain in office till Dec. 9, 2025.

They said that an elected national officer of the 1st defendant cannot be arbitrarily removed from office in any manner without his resignation and in breach of the party’s constitution.

But in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants’ counter affidavit, the party’s leadership averred that contrary to the plaintiffs’ argument, Anyanwu applied for leave of absence to enable him concentrate on his election as PDP candidate in the Imo governorship poll which took place on Nov. 11, 2023.

They, therefore, said that contrary to Paragraphs 22 and 23 of the plaintiffs’ affidavit, the NWC approved the deputy national secretary to act in place of the national secretary as provided for in Article 36(2) of the party’s constitution.

Meanwhile, when the matter was called for judgment, two lawyers announced appearance for parties interested to be joined in the suit.

While G.E Ejekela announced appearance for Dr Ali Odefa, the national vice chairman of South East of PDP, P.O. Akpogwu represented Hon S.K.E. Ude-Okoye, who was listed as national secretary of the party.

But plaintiffs’ counsel, Musa, called the attention of the court to Ude-Okoye’s motion for joinder filed on his behalf.

The senior lawyer said though the motion was filed yesterday, he had responded to it.

He, however, faulted the process on the grounds that the exhibits attached to the one served on him were different from the exhibits attached to other parties’.

After much arguments, Akpogwu applied to withdraw the motion for joinder and the plaintiffs’ lawyer sought a cost of N1 million but the judge awarded a N100, 000 fine against the lawyer for filing an untidy process.

Moving his motion for joinder on Odefa’s behalf, Ejekela said the application dated Dec. 22, 2023, was filed on Dec. 27, 2023. He urged the court to grant their prayer.

But Musa, who opposed the plea, said a counter affidavit had been filed.

He argued that the application was an attempt to arrest the judgment, urging the court to dismiss it for constituting an abuse of court process.

Justice Ekwo then stood down the matter for ruling and judgment.

Delivering the ruling, the judge dismissed Odefa’s motion for lack of merit and for being an abuse of court process.

In his judgement, Ekwo held that the plaintiffs had been able to demonstrate, with credible evidence, the threat and move by the PDP leadership to remove its national secretary without due compliance with the provisions of the party’s constitution.

“The court is duty bound to prevent that from happening.

“The plaintiffs do not have to wait until the 1st — 4th defendants carry out their threat before coming to seek redress.

“In such situation, the court is bound to grant the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs,” he said.

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Politics

Edo condemns clash between LP candidate, Akpata and UNIBEN SUG

NBA charges Buhari, NASS to ensure approval of Electoral Bill in interest of national progress

Candidate of the Labour Party in the 21 September governorship election in Edo State, Olumide Akpata, SAN, has allegedly clashed with the Students Union Government of the University of Benin (UNIBEN).

The clash occurred on Friday, during a visit by the Senior Advocate to the Ugbowo campus of the University.

This was disclosed in a statement Saturday night, by the State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, the Chris Osa Nehikhare.

The statement read thus:

“The Edo State Government condemns in the strongest terms the violence associated with the Labour Party candidate, Mr. Olumide Akpata’s visit to the University of Benin on Friday, April 12, 2024.

“Claims and counterclaims have been made by Mr. Akpata and the Student Union Government (SUG) of the University in statements issued by both parties on April 13, and active investigation is ongoing on the issue.

“The Edo State Government, however, warns in the strongest terms that it will not tolerate violence or this sort of irresponsible behaviour which was associated with the visit of Mr. Akpata to the institution.

“Government has the primary responsibility to ensure the security of lives and property in the State and will spare no effort to ensure that anyone who breaches the peace, no matter how highly placed, will face the full weight of the law.

“We hereby call on all Edo people to go about their lawful businesses without let as relevant agencies progress with their investigation into the said matter.”

Akpata responds:

Meanwhile, Mr Olumide Akpata has responded to the incident. Akpata in a video clip found on Facebook, blamed the incident on his political enemies.

“What was designed to be an apolitical and innocent homecoming at my Alma Mater, the great University of Benin, yesterday, 12 April 2024, when the Senior Staff Club of the University of Benin had invited me for an interactive session, investiture as an honorary member of the Club, and to also confer an award of excellence on me took a dramatic and unfortunate turn last night.

“Regrettably, those who are most threatened by my candidacy resorted to the tired old tactic and deployed thugs masquerading as students alongside some students to disrupt and mar a sacred University Staff event.

“In the process, one lecturer was injured and is now receiving treatment. While wishing him a speedy recovery, let me assure all the good people of Edo State and Nigerians in general that I am undeterred by last night’s fiasco and that I remain resolute in my determination to bring about the desired change in Edo State come September 2024.”

(PM)

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Politics

Akpabio Meets South-South APC State Chairmen, Tasks Them On Party Unity

President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, has charged the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South-South region to work harder so that the visibility of the party in the region will grow from one state to more states.

Akpabio gave the charge while receiving APC State chairmen from the South-South region in Abuja on Sunday.

Akpabio, who noted that he understood the challenges being faced by the state chairmen, assured them that “in the days ahead, a meeting of critical stakeholders comprising State chairmen, National Assembly members, Ministers and other Appointees from the region would be convened to work out modalities to support the party at various state chapters, as a way of engendering unity and understanding, amongst all party members to foster social cohesion between the party and elected/ appointed officials in Government.”

The Senate President used the opportunity to thank President Bola Tinubu for the Lagos-Calabar coastal road project, describing it as very visionary.

In his brief remarks on behalf of his colleagues, the Cross River State chairman of APC, Barrister Alphonsus Ogar, commended the harmonious working relationship between the Senate President and the only APC Governor from the South-South, Senator Bassey Otu of Cross River.

The chairmen declared their total support for Akpabio’s commitment towards the infrastructural development of the area especially the on going Lagos – Calabar Coastal road and railway line being embarked upon by the Tinubu administration.

According to Ogar, “the completion of this project within record time would immortalize President Tinubu in the hearts of the people of the region.

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DSS arrests El-Rufai’s political ally, Aisha Galadima over post on Gov Sani

Aisha Galadima, a strong political ally of the former governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has been arrested in Kaduna.

The arrest, a source told DAILY POST, was connected to a post on her Facebook page, criticizing Governor Uba Sani.

The female politician was picked up by the operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, from her residence on Sunday afternoon.

The development was confirmed by one of her brothers, who said, “Aisha has just been arrested by DSS at her Tudun Wada residence in Kaduna.”

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