By Peter Duru
A Makurdi High Court presided over by Justice Wilfred Kpochi has issued an interim order restrainng Dr. Iyorchia Ayu from “parading himself as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.”
The order of the court, issued on Monday, followed an ex-parte application brought before the court by a PDP stalwart, Mr. Conrad Utaan against Dr. Ayu and the PDP in a suit No MHC/85/2023.
The application was supported by a 15-paragraph affidavit and three exhibits including the applicant’s PDP membership card, receipt of payment of dues and a copy of the resolution of the PDP Executive of the Igyorov Council Ward of Gboko Local Government Area, suspending Dr. Ayu.
The plaintiff in the application argued that the National Chairman should cease to operate in that capacity “having lost membership of the party, pending the hearing and determination of Motion on Notice already filed.”
In his ruling, Justice Kpochi held that the court, after listening to the plaintiff’s counsel move the application “and upon a dispassionate consideration of the facts placed before me in the pool of the affidavit evidence, and again, upon the consideration of the issues distilled in the written address by the plaintiff’s counsel, it is my candid view that this is a proper case to grant the interim injunction as craved.
“Consequently, this application is hereby granted in terms of the reliefs captured in the motion papers as herein before reproduced. It is so ordered.”
Justice Ikpochi adjourned the matter to April 17 for hearing.
Speaking shortly after the ruling, Mr. Utaan explained that he approached the court to have Dr. Ayu removed from office because “we naturally expected that out of the performance that we have just recorded as a party in Benue, we expected Dr. Ayu, like it is done in saner climes, to step aside honourably because he wasn’t able to lead the party to victory; and allow the party to move on without him.
“Unfortunately, he has refused to show or display that kind of honour and I thought it wise to approach the court to to see how to agree with the position of his ward who only 24 hours ago, suspended him from the party.
“Our expectation is that you cannot be the National Chairman of a party that you are not a member of.
“Fortunately for us as a party, Dr. Ayu is no longer a member of the PDP as declared by his ward and under normal circumstances, he has no reason whatsoever to continue as the National Chairman of our party.”
Recall that 12 out of the 17 member Executive of Igyorov Council Ward of the PDP in Gboko LGA Sunday suspended the National Chairman from the party after passing a vote of no confidence on him over alleged anti party activities.
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