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PDP vs Reform Group: Absence of judge stalls hearing

*Hearing to begin July 14

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

ABUJA—The absence of Justice Albubakar Talba of an Abuja high court sitting in Gudu, yesterday, stalled the hearing of an action initiated by 19 aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, challenging their suspension from the party over alleged anti-party activities.

The group under the aegis of the PDP reformist group had asked the high court to quash their suspension from the party, while contending that the decision of the PDP leadership to ostracize them from attending party activities over an alleged misdemeanor was illegal and ultra-vires.

Though the case was filed since April 26, the court is yet to commence hearing on the substantive suit.

Justice Talba who had on May 10, slated yesterday to start hearing the matter, was said to be unavoidably absent to preside over the case, though he directed the court clerk to issue new hearing date to the parties in the suit.

The defense team led by Chief Paul Erokoro, SAN, yesterday, agreed with counsel to the reformist group, Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN, to return to court on July 14 to begin legal fireworks.

It would be recalled that the 19 litigants who were led by former Senate President, Sen. Ken Nnamani and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Masari, had in their suit, listed the PDP, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje and Prof. Rufai Ahmed Alkali, as the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th respondents respectively.

They are praying the court to invoke its original jurisdiction and void the decision of the respondents by nullifying their suspension.

Others behind the suit are Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, Sen Adolfus Wabara, Chief Sunny Iroche, Sen. Emmanuel Agboti, Sen. Sylvanus Ngele and Sen. Ifeanyichukwu Ararume, among others.


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