Police disperse PDP members in Anambra as court stops congress

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By VINCENT UJUMADU
AWKA—THE police in Awka, weekend, dispersed members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who gathered for the state and local government congress of the party, following an Abuja High Court order stopping the congress.

Justice U.  Kekemeke had  restrained the PDP from conducting the exercise in the state pending the determination on motion on notice by a member of the party in the state.

Mr. Emma Mbamalu, had in the suit, asked the court to  restrain the party from conducting both local government and state congresses of the party in the state.

Counsel to Mbamalu, Mr Ikechukwu Ezechukwu, SAN, had sought for an order of interim injunction, restraining the defendant by itself or through any of its agencies from conducting any local government congresses in Anambra State or state congress on Saturday March 17, 2012 or any other date pending the determination of the motion on notice.

In the meantime, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cancelled the ward congress held in the state penultimate week.

A letter to the national chairman of PDP, which was signed by Secretary to INEC, Mr Abdullahi Kaugama, urged the party to reschedule ward congresses in the state to enable the states to have basis to proceeding with local government, state and zonal Congresses.

Other states affected by the INEC order were Sokoto, Adamawa, Taraba, Plateau, Nasarrawa, Jigawa, Lagos, and Katsina.

In Awka, the Benji Udeozor faction had gone to a hotel to hold the congress when fierce looking policemen drove everybody away and cordoned off the arena . The group later relocated to its state secretariat where the factional chairman chairman addressed them.

Reacting to the court order, former chairman of the party, Dr Tony Nwoye said what the party needed to challenge the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA  or Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in the state was free, fair and credible congresses.

He alleged that results of the congresses had already been written in hotels by one person, describing the plight of PDP in the state as unfortunate.

According to Nwoye, “we need to be democratic as the era of writing any result at somebody’s home or hotel is over in Anambra state,” adding that  PDP wants to move forward in Anambra State.

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