By Ise-Oluwa Ige
Abuja -Â A Plateau State High Court yesterday stopped the National leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from swearing-in seven party chieftains to take over the leadership of its Plateau State Executive Committee under a Caretaker status.
The Presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Sirajo, issued the order following an ex-parte application argued by Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN).
Fagbemi represented Professor Dakum Shown-led State Executive Committee that brought the ex-parte application.
The applicant had gone to court to forestall an abuse of the rule of law and due process by the PDP at the national level.
The National Chairman of PDP, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor had on August 12, 2009 released a statement, conveying the dissolution of the Professor Shown-led SEC and announced plans of the National Working Committee to swear-in a seven member Caretaker Committee (CTC) to take over affairs of the PDP in Plateau State.
Piqued by the development, Shown and five others suing on behalf of the SEC resorted to legal process to protect their four-year tenure guaranteed under Article 14(1) of the PDP Constitution, which begun on May 22, 2008 when they were sworn-in by instituting an action before the Plateau State High Court.
But because the courts are on vacation nationwide, the applicants brought an ex-parte application before the vacation judge to stop the national leadership of the ruling PDP from sacking them.
The judge who was persuaded by Fagbemiâ€™s arguments granted the application.
In the substantive suit commenced by originating summons filed by Fagbemi (SAN), he contended that by the constitution of the party and Nigeriaâ€™s 1999 Constitution, party leadership at all levels emerged through democratically elected process and not by appointments or impositions.
Fagbemi also submitted that the plaintiffs emerged through electoral process in February 2008 and were sworn in on May 22, 2009 as members of SEC.