On Friday, the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal annulled a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) verdict ordering the sack of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Anambra State Executive Committee (Exco) (PDP). View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
The decision was overturned because the FCT High Court lacked territorial jurisdiction to hear and determine a case involving the PDP’s leadership in Anambra State.
On June 9, Justice Olukayode Adeniyi fired the Anambra State executive, citing the PDP’s constitutional violations in the conduct of the South-east zonal congress on March 6, 2021, and the appointments made therein.
Samuel Anyakolah filed a lawsuit in the trial court with the case number HC/CV/774/2021 (for himself and all local government chairmen and ward executives that emerged from the Anambra PDP congress conducted on November 28 and December 1, 2017 under the supervision of Sir Chukwudi Umeaba, as Acting Chairman State Caretaker Committee).
Dissatisfied with the FCT High Court’s ruling, the PDP and Mr Uchenna Obiorah filed separate appeals with the appellate court with the numbers CA/A/359/2021 and CA/A/CV/368/2021, respectively, to overturn the trial court’s verdict.
In two judgements written by Justice Stephen Adah and Elfreda Williams-Daudu, the appellate court upheld the two appeals and, as a result, set aside the FCT High Court’s verdict of June 9, 2021.
They went on to criticize all of the trial court’s decisions.
In the ruling, Adeniyi concurred with the plaintiff/claimant that the PDP breached its constitution in the conduct of the South-east zonal congress and the appointments made within on March 6, 2021.
“All congresses, designations, or appointments made by the first defendant (the PDP), with respect to the positions of state chairman, EXCO members, and local government chairmen, as contained in pages 14, 15 and 16 of the South-east zonal congress brochure of March 6, 2021 are hereby nullified and set aside,” the judge declared.
He also declared that it is illegal for the PDP to adopt or publish the name of a state chairman, alongside persons claiming to be his EXCO members, local government chairmen, and national delegates, without recourse to the already inaugurated party officers and delegates that emerged from the Anambra PDP’s South-east zonal congress on March 6th or at any other time, without recourse to the extant list of the already inaugurated party officers and delegates that emerged from the Anambra PDP’
The judge ordered the PDP to only recognize and adopt the list of already-installed party officers and delegates that emerged from the Anambra PDP congresses held on November 28, 2017 and December 1, 2017, as validated by Senator France Bent Ward Congress Appeal Panel report and Ukairo Local Government Appeal Panel report, under the supervision of Umeaba, who will continue to appoint the party’s officers and delegates.
In its South-east zonal convention on March 6, 2021, the lawsuit claimed that the PDP arbitrarily placed state chairmen, Exco members, local government chairmen, and national delegates on members.
He claimed that the congress was held in defiance of an existing list of already-installed party officers and delegates that emerged from the Anambra PDP congresses held on November 28, 2017 and December 1, 2017, as confirmed by the Bent Ward Congress Appeal Panel and the Ukairo Local Government Appeal Panel reports.