COURTROOM NEWS 24/01/2024
Court Asked To Restrain PDP Chairman, Others From Office
Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has been told to stop the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Umar Damagum and other national leaders of the party from further acting in their capacities owing to their alleged violation of the party’s constitution.
The plaintiff, Otunba Segun Sowumi, who is also the spokesman of the PDP during the last general elections and a former gubernatorial candidate in Ogun State, in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/70/2024, accused national leadership of the party of hampering its fortune in future elections by failing to hold the mandatory National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party to enable its members review the party’s activities, take critical decisions and plan for future elections.
Sowumi stated that since the meeting was last held on September 8, 2022 during the tenure of the sacked chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, the new leadership under Umar Damagum has allegedly refused to convene NEC meetings despite demands by concerned party members.
The plaintiff stated that not only did the failure to hold NEC meeting violates the party’s constitution, it is inimical to the progress of the party and threatens his fortune and those of other members, who plan to contest future elections.
He prayed the court to among others, issue an order of perpetual injunction restraining Damagum and others, including their agents “from functioning or continuing to function or discharge the functions of their offices until they call for or cause to be called and held meeting of the NEC of the PDP in total fidelity and obeisance to the PDP constitution.”
Sowumi, in the suit filed by his lawyer, Anderson Asemota, also wants the court to order the party’s leadership to order the party’s leadership “to immediately call for or cause to be called and held the meeting of the National Executive Committee of the PDP for the purpose of presenting the activities of the party from the date of the last NEC meeting which was held on 8th September, 2022.”
He is equally seeking an order directing Damagum and others „to immediately call for or cause to be called and held the meeting of the NEC of the PDP for the purpose of presenting the proposed guidelines and regulations governing the conduct of elections to the party offices at all levels and procedure for selecting party candidates for elective offices to the members of the NEC.“
Listed with Damagum as defendants in the suit are the PDP, Senator Samuel Anyanwu (National Secretary), Umar Nature (National Organizing Secretary), Okechukwu Daniel (National Auditor), Ahmed Yayari (National Treasurer), Muhammed Kadade (National Youth Leader) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Sowumi, in a supporting affidavit, stated that since the party participated in the last governorship elections in Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo states, the reports of the elections have not been presented to the party as required.
He added that elections are coming up in Edo and Ondo states and the party needs to also plan and prepare ahead, „which preparation and planning can only be done at the meeting of the members of the NEC.”
Sowumi stated that „by the provisions of Articles 31(2)(4) &(5) of the party‘s constitution, Damagum and leaders of the PDP „are obligated to call for or cause to be called and held quarterly or at the request of one-third of members of the NEC of the PDP the meeting of the NEC of the PDP at which they shall present proposed guidelines and regulations governing the conduct of elections to the party offices at all levels, and procedure of selecting party candidates for elective offices to the members of the NEC.”