October 30, 2014

Court aborts Abia PDP congress

Court aborts Abia PDP congress

…Senators petition Mu’azu, PDP NWC

By  Ikechukwu Nnochiri & Johnbosco Agbakwuru

ABUJA—A Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja, yesterday, stopped the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, from going ahead with its plan to conduct ward congress election in Abia State on November 1.

This came as the three senators of the party from Abia State raised the alarm over alleged composition of illegal Congress/Primary Election Committee, led Charles Ogbonnaya.

The Senators, Uche Chukwumerije, Enyinnaya Abaribe and Nkechi Nwaogu, who rejected the composition, petitioned the party’s National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, and the National Working Committee, NWC, insisting that “the committee is a body not known to the constitution of the party.”

However, the court, following a suit filed by two aggrieved party members in the state, Chief Igwe Chukwu and Eche James, directed that the proposed election of 3-man ad-hoc delegates from the different wards in Abia State, be put on hold, pending the determination of the matter before it.

The congress election was originally scheduled for Saturday in line with the recommendation of an 11-man committee headed by Chief Charles Ogbonna.

Justice A.B Muhammed granted the interim order after listening to counsel to the plaintiffs, Mr. Nwoke Kalu, who moved the motion ex-parte that was filed under order 31 Rule 1 (2) of the rules of the high court.

The plaintiffs had in their substantive suit, prayed the court to sack the committee which they accused of bias.

They told the court that the 11-man committee was bent on frustrating certain persons from participating in the election.

Joined as defendants in the suit were the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, its National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Muazu [for himself and as representing members of the National Working Committee, NWC, of PDP, Senator Emma C. Nwaka, [for himself and as representing the State Working Committee, SWC, of PDP, Abia State chapter) and Chief Charles Ogbonna (for himself and as representing other committee members for the election of 3-man ad-hoc delegate).

They are therefore praying the court to determine, “whether the 11-man Electoral Committee headed by the 4th defendant has, in spite of its endorsement and approval by the 1st and 2nd defendants, the lawful powers to conduct the election of the 3-man ad-hoc  delegates from the different wards in Abia State, who will participate in primaries for the election of candidates of the party, considering jointly and severally, the provisions of the 1999 constitution (as amended), constitution of the 1st defendant and the guidelines issued for the primaries.

“Whether the 1st and 2nd defendants can endorse and approve the setting up of such a committee and use or allow the use of the outcome of the work of such committee in the conduct of the special committee for electing candidates for the 2015 elections.”

Moreover, they are praying the court for an “order setting aside the endorsement and approval and the setting up and inauguration of the said committee headed by the 4th defendant on record as same is unconstitutional, null and void being inconsistent with the 1999 constitution (as amended), the constitution of the party and guidelines of the 1st defendant”

Justice Muhammed adjourned till November 10 to commence hearing on the main suit.

Meanwhile, three senators from Abia State have raised the alarm over alleged composition of illegal Congress/Primary Election Committee led by Charles Ogbonnaya.

They declared as illegal, the committee which was inaugurated by the state Chairman, Senator Emma Nwaka, claiming it contravened the party’s laid down guideline for the primary elections.

The petition, dated October 28, and signed by the three senators, reiterated that composition of the party contravened sections 31 (1), (2, J), (3), 25 (1) of the PDP’s constitution (2012, as amended).