Secondus: Uncertainty trails PDP with conflicting court pronouncements as divergent legal implications ‘greet’ rulings

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The raging crisis hitting the major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has become one day, one drama. The latest being the court pronouncement restating Uche Secondus as the Chairman of the PDP.

On Thursday, a High Court in Kebbi State granted an experte motion sought by Yahaya Usman, Abubakar Muhammed and Bashir Suleiman, that there should be a stay of execution on an earlier experte motion.

It would be recalled that a High Court in Rivers State had order Mr Secondus to stop parading himself as the Chairman of the party.

The conflicting court order has created a crisis in the party and DAILY POST findings reveals that the party is seeking means to resolve the crisis as the court orders have created a lock jam.

PDP crisis: Secondus’ suspension as National Chairman is a meltdown – Fani-Kayode

The current crisis has witnessed many turns and twists. It would be recalled that earlier, an agreement was reached between Nyesom Wike-led group that want Secondus out and the Secondus camp. Part of the agreement was to move the convention to October instead of December that Secondus tenure ought to expire.

Getting an order from Malami’s State confirms allegation of anti-party- National Youth Leader

Speaking to DAILY POST, Austin Okai, the National Youth Leader of the PDP, said the fact that the court order came from Kebbi State, the home of the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, confirmed the suspicion that Secondus is working for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

“You cannot go to court if you are suspended—you are accused of anti-party activities. In his own ward, the executive sat and suspended him. And to help the party against the mockery and the media tantrum, they asked the court to stop him from parading himself as National Chairman, that he cannot be a national party chairman. The constitution of our party is explicit, section 47 (6-7) of it is very specific that in the absence of a national chairman, the deputy from the area where the national chairman came from should take over and that was what led to the taking over of the national secretariat by Yemi akinwunmi.

That he came up with, should I call it Kangaroo judgement manipulated from an APC controlled state, the state of the Attorney General of the federation, Kebbi has also confirmed the anti-party activity that was alleged before they suspended him. The court order cannot say that a non-party member should be a national chairman. Even the supreme court cannot give such an order. As it stands now, Prince Uche Secondus is not the national chairman of the party. He is not a PDP member, he has been suspended pending when the suspension is lifted and upon the lifting of the suspension then we can discuss that. So where is the court order here? he resumed today that he has a court order, he was stopped from presiding over the caucus meeting.”

He also said the matter is not a national issue, rather a local issue that Secondus needs to go back to his ward to resolve.

“This is not a national issue, this is a local issue. Has he been suspended? The answer is yes. Is prince Uche secondus suspended from PDP in his ward? Can a non-party member be a national chairman of a party? The answer is no. no court order can resolve that. It is for him to go back to his ward and get the issue resolved. Upon his re-admittance into the party, any other portfolio can now follow.

“You cannot be a national chairman when you are not a member. Right now, he is not a PDP member pending the resolution of his ward where he registered. He was not registered in Wadata Plaza, there is no ward in Wadata plaza. Everybody you see in PDP is a product of a ward. Politics is local.

“Anybody can get a court order, if you pay, you will get. The fact that he even got the court order in an APC controlled state, the state of the Attorney General of the federation speaks volume. For a man that was accused of working for the APC, it is making the whole thing suspicious. He did not go to nearby Abia State, he did not go to nearby Bayelsa State, these are PDP states. He went all the way to Kebbi State.”

Legal implications

However, a legal practitioner, Henry Kelechukwu, said all court orders are valid, and the party will have to obey all, both Rivers High Court and Kebbi State High Court orders, noting that only a superior court can set aside a court order.

This is the problem with this double order, every order of the court is valid and must be obeyed. You can go and challenge its proprietress or otherwise in a superior court. It is not in your mouth to say this one is the good one, this one is not, it is the court, a superior court that can make that statement. Not human beings or the PDP secretariat.

The truth is, the PDP are in a quagmire. The only thing that can save the party is if either one did not go to court to challenge it. Which is very unlikely considering the nature of what is at stake here.

A group is insisting on the convention taking place on the 29th of October, Secondus does not want to go in October. His tenure ends in December. All those decisions they are reaching will be nullity at the moment he goes to court to challenge it. All those decisions they are reaching will be a nullity, NEC, BOT, Governors Forum, all will be nullity.

The reason for saying this is simple. NEC has to be constituted by someone who has the authority to constitute it. And who has the legitimacy? It is him.

The guys who went to court in Rivers State obtained a Kangaroo order. The people who suspended him suspended a National Executive, not a ward executive. You cannot just sit down in your ward and remove a national executive, a national chairman in this instance, who was elected by a National convention. But even though the order is a problem, it does not lie in our mouth to say so, it is only a court that can say so. Hence, that court order must be obeyed. However, the Kebbi order is also valid. Both orders are valid until set aside by a superior court. In order not to be guilty of contempt of the court, don’t do anything. Don’t hold anything like meeting, allow the matter to be resolved. The members of the working committee can continue to work, as long as no one is using that title ‘national working committee or acting national committee’.

PDP’s next line off action

The National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a phone conversation, informed DAILY POST that the leaders of the party are working to resolve the crisis, using the “internal working mechanism of the party.”

As the party is heading towards the NEC meeting, the future of the party depends on the internal mechanism as the conflicting orders still exist.





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