By James Ezema
An Enugu High Court has been asked to stop the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, from parading himself as a member of the party and as an officer of the party.
The plaintiff, Mr. Collins Amalu, had filed a motion ex-parte before Justice R. N. Onuoha of the Enugu High Court, supported by a written address and an affidavit of 8 paragraphs he had sworn to.
Consequently, the court ordered “That the defendant be served with the writ of summons and other processes in this suit by substituted means by publishing them in a newspaper to bring to the notice of the defendant the pendency of this suit against” before adjourning the motion on notice to December 15, 2010 for hearing if served.
Mr. Amalu claimed to be a native of Okwe Amankwo, Ngwo, in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State, same local government where Dr. Nwodo hails from.
In his motion on notice dated December 6, 2010 and filed by his counsel Alh. Abdulaziz C. Ogbui, the plaintiff is seeking “An order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendant/respondent (Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo) from holding himself out, and or allowing himself to be held out, as a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (“Party”) and or an officer the party, to wit — the national chairman of the party, and or exercising the rights, powers and or functions of a member and an officer of the party and or enjoying any privilege as a member and or officer of the party.
Supporting his claim in an affidavit sworn to at the High Court registry in Enugu on December 6, 2010, the applicant, Mr. Amalu declared “That I am a bona fide card-carrying member of the Peoples Democratic Party (“PDP” or “Party”) from Ngwo Ward Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State.
“That on 25 November 2010, I came upon the publication of the interview of Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo in Saturday Sun Newspaper of November 13, 2010, vol. 7 No.411, wherein Dr. Nwodo stated that he had not been registered as a member of the PDP in his local ward, and that he does not have the party’s membership card.
“That the PDP has a Constitution dated 22nd April, 2009 (As amended in 2009 (last amendment) which governs its affairs, including the procedure for, and conditions precedent to, becomig a member of the party.
“That under Article 8, particularly at article 8.2 to 8.10, of the PDP Constitution, a person would have to be registered as a member of the party at his Local Ward and issued with the party membership card before he could become a member of the party. Such a member is also required to pay his membership fee.
“That a previous member of the party who defected to another political party would need to undergo a fresh registration and be issued with fresh or new membership card to regain membership of the PDP.
“That the defendant who defected to another political party, ie, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has not complied with this requirement of the PDP.
“That the defendant, is not a registered member of the party in his local ward and accordingly does not have the party’s membership card duly issued to him. The defendant is accordingly not a member of the PDP.
The affidavit added “That the defendant, though not a member of the PDP, is holding himself out as the national chairman of the party”.
The deponent said among others: “That the defendant by a letter dated 15th of April 2009 and addressed to the Enugu State chairman of the PDP, falsely claimed that he had duly rejoined the party as a member; but the defendant had not at that time or even now complied with the provisions of the PDP constitution that require him to register in the register of the members of the party in his local Ukehe Ward and issued with a new membership card as part of the party’s requirement for joining the party.
“That it is illegal and a breach of the constitution of the PDP for the defendant to ride a rough shod on us the faithfully members of the party and hijacked the office of the National Chairman of the party — a position that is meant for only the legitimate members of the party, including me”.