March 28, 2023

PDP crisis: Court restrains Ayu from parading self as PDP chair

Breaking: PDP chairman, Ayu steps aside

Ayu, embattled PDP Chairman

•Why I approached court to sack him — PDP STALWART

•Ayu rejects purported suspension by ward exco

•Says opponents ignorant gamblers

Peter Duru & John Alechenu

A High Court in Makurdi, Benue State, has issued an interim injunction restraining Dr Iyorchia Ayu from parading himself as the national chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

This came on a day Ayu dismissed his purported suspension by a section of his ward executives over alleged anti-party activities as the handiwork of some desperate ignorant gamblers who lacked basic understanding of PDP constitution.

The presiding judge, Justice W.I. Kpochi, gave the interim order yesterday in suit No. MHC/85/2023 filed at the court by Terhide Utaan with Ayu and the PDP as defendants.

The case was adjourned until April 17 for further hearing.

The application was supported by a 15 paragraph affidavit to which it was annexed three exhibits as exhibits A1, A2 and B, which were the applicant’s membership card of the second defendant, receipts for payment of dues and a vote of no confidence passed on the 1st defendant by the Igyorov Council Ward of the 2nd defendant in Gboko Local Government, Benue State.

The court order read:   “Upon hearing Mr. M. T. Assoh, Counsel ably 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 M. T. Assoh,  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.”

Why I approached court to sack him – PDP stalwart 

Speaking shortly after the ruling, Mr. Utaan explained that he approached the court to have Dr. Ayu removed 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 see how to agree with the position of his ward 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 Ayu’s suspension from the party was announced by his Igyorov ward of Gboko LGA on Sunday by the ward secretary, Vangeryina Dooyum, on behalf of the chairman, Kashi Philip.

But reacting to the suspension yesterday, the PDP national chairman dismissed it as the handiwork of some desperate ignorant gamblers who lack basic understanding of the PDP Constitution.

A statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Communications, Simon Imobo-Tswam, in Abuja, said:  “The PDP National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, has not been suspended by his Ward. Some members of the Exco are only being teleguided by political gamblers to cause mischief and nothing more.

“For starters, Article 57(7) of the PDP Constitution as Amended in 2017 expressly prohibits any organ of the party or executive committee of the party at the Ward or State Level from taking any disciplinary measure against any member of the party’s National Executive Committee.

“The purported suspension is, therefore, an exercise in futility as it derives its strength majorly from gross illiteracy, ignorance, gambling and desperation. It has only mischief, drama and propaganda value.

“But more than this, the so-called suspension letter was written by an illiterate before hand, and only given to the coerced members to sign somewhere in Makurdi.

“This is why the original date is typexed and 24 March imposed on it. And this is also why it states that the presidential/NASS and governorship/State Assembly elections held on 25th and 18th March, 2023 respectively.

“From what we know, the document itself is fraudulent as the signatures of the Ward Executives were forged or obtained under duress.

“The chairman, his deputy and legal adviser didn’t sign. The 14th person on the list didn’t sign too. She was at NKST Ambighir for the Holy Communion.

“In fact, the same applies for Nos. 5, 8 and 16. At the time they  were supposed to be in Makurdi with the other coerced, intimidated and induced members of the Exco, they were actually in their villages, going about their normal businesses.

“Up till now, about nine members of the Ward Exco are still being held hostage in a location in Makurdi for obvious reasons. And expectedly, their mobile numbers have been switched off. It is instructive.

“The general public is hereby advised to ignore rumours to this heinous effect. Those behind the plot are only investing in expensive illusions.”