Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Uche Secondus Leads NWC Members To Court Over Lagos PDP Crisis

National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Prince Uche Secondus yesterday led some members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to Lagos State High Court. He appeared before the court in a suit challenging the special congress of the party which produced Mr. Deji Doherty as PDP chairman in Lagos State.

Justice Taofikat Oyekan-Abdullahi of the State High Court had summoned Secondus and Senator Ben Obi who chaired the congress committee to appear before it. The judge said Secondus and Sen Obi should appear before the court to explain why they should not be committed to prison for defying his order stopping the congress and that the status quo be maintained.

The court had on November 12, ordered that all parties should maintain peace, and status quo with regards to the special election being planned by the party to elect new executives. Dr. Adegbola Dominic insisted that he remained the chairman of the party and challenged the proposed congress in court. Justice Oyekan-Abdullahi expressed dismay that Lagos PDP proceeded to conduct the special election despite knowledge of the case and pending application for interlocutory injunction.

But yesterday, Secondus was accompanied to the court by a team of members of the NWC where he defended the choice of Doherty as the party’s chairman. With Secondus in court were the National Organising Secretary, Col. Austin Akobundu; National Financial Secretary, Abdullahi MaiBasira, National Treasurer, Hon Adewale Aribisala; National Legal Adviser, Barrister Emmanuel Enoidem; National Vice Chairman (South/west), Dr Eddy Olafeso; and National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan. At the resumed hearing, Barr. Francis Akinlotan appeared for all the claimants including Dr. Adegbola Dominic (state chairman of the party), Elder John Babatunde Agbaje, Alhaji Fatai Ajisefinni and Chief Taiwo Kuye.

The PDP National Legal Adviser appeared for the respondents who are Secondus, Senator Obi, and other members of the congress committee including Senator Biodun Olujimi, Hon. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, Hon. Danladi Baidu Tijo, Ahmed M. Mukthar while Wendy Kuku represented the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the 7th respondent. Akinlotan told the court of his clients’ pending applications seeking for extension of time to their written addresses and also to reply the preliminary objection filed by the respondents.

The claimants’ lawyer also informed the court that the contemnors on Friday evening served him an affidavit on their response to contempt proceedings filed against them but he was yet to reply to it and he still had time to reply. He therefore urged the court to hear the substantive suit but counsel to 1-6 respondents objected, saying until all the pending applications which included contempt proceedings, the preliminary objection and other, the substantive suit could not be heard. However, the judge ruled in favour of the respondents and fixed March 12, to hear the contempt proceedings.

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