The beleaguered National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, is fighting to save his seat after his primary constituency in Rivers State announced his resignation from the party.
Secondus, who is presently fighting court injunctions to keep him out of office, was ruled suspended by Ward 5 of the state’s Andoni Local Government Area, where he is based, following an unusual meeting of the ward executives.
Court Temporarily Restores Secondus As PDP Chairman
In a request ex parte filed in the case KB/AC/M.170/2021, presiding judge Nusirat Umar ruled that the implementation of a prior order prohibiting Secondus from presenting himself as national chairman be postponed until the outcome of the litigation.
“Staying the claimed suspension of the first respondent until the resolution of the substantive motion on notice No. KB/HC/M.170/2021 presently pending before this honourable court,” Umar said in an interim injunction.
The ruling reads, “An order of this honourable court granting leave to the first respondent (Uche Secondus) to continue exercising all constitutional powers of the office of Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (second defendant) as enshrined in both the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended and the Peoples Democratic Party’s constitution pending the hearing and final determination of applicant’s motion on notice.”
Secondus has recently been under greater pressure, with calls for his resignation coming from a variety of sources.
A high court in Rivers state issued an interim injunction prohibiting Uche Secondus from claiming to be the party’s national chairman.
The order was issued by Okogbule Gbasam, the presiding judge while deciding on a motion ex parte brought by four people: Ibeawuchi Alex, Dennis Amadi, Emmanuel Stephen, and Umeziriki Onucha.
Meanwhile, the deputy national chairperson (south) of the PDP, Yemi Akinwonmi, has been designated acting chairman of the party as a result of the ruling.
Acting PDP Chairman Steps Down After Steps Down After Court Order
According to Ike Abonyi, a media assistant of Uche Secondus, the suspended chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), acting chairman Yemi Akinwonmi has handed over to Secondus.
A high court in Rivers state issued an interim injunction prohibiting Secondus from claiming to be the PDP’s national chairman.
Following the court ruling, the party’s national working committee (NWC) appointed Akinwonmi, the PDP national deputy chairman (south), as interim national chairman during its recent meeting.
A Kebbi state high court, however, stayed the Rivers high court’s judgment, ruling that Secondus retains his position as the party’s national chairman.
Secondus is back in command of the party’s affairs, according to a statement released by Abonyi.
“Prince Secondus, who had stayed away after a Kebbi High Court headed over by Justice Nasirat I. Umar instructed him to continue, had been obeying the alleged ex parte decision of a Degema High Court in Rivers State,” the statement adds.
“Following that, Prince Secondus, who had stayed away despite not having served, returned, as did the Deputy National Chairman South, Elder Yemi Akinwomi, who presided in his absence after receiving the new court order.
“Prince Secondus promised to continue giving astute leadership to the party throughout the temporary changeover. Elder Akinwomi also revealed that he had received the court order, which he had brought to the caucus gathering.
PDP spokesperson Kola Ologbondiyan was approached for comment but has not replied at the time of publication.
Judge Berates Lawyer For Misleading Court, Vacates Order Restoring Secondus As PDP Chairman
A state high court in Kebbi has overturned a ruling that reinstated Uche Secondus as the Peoples Democratic Party’s national leader (PDP).
A high court in Rivers state issued an interim ruling on August 23 prohibiting Secondus from acting as the party’s national chairman.
However, on August 26, Nusirat Umar, a high court judge in Kebbi state, ruled that the earlier injunction prohibiting Secondus from presenting himself as national chairman be suspended until the outcome of the action.
Umar issued the order while presiding over a motion ex parte filed in the case KB/AC/M.170/2021.
However, in another action, KB/HC/M.191/2021, brought by one Ibeawuchi Ernest Alex and four others, Umar reversed her prior decision.
She chastised the claimants’/applicants’ counsel, alleging that they withheld key facts from the court during the ex parte motion hearing.
Umar went on to say that the court lacked the authority to hear and decide the preceding case.
“I also agree that the Kebbi state high court has no authority to hear and decide a case that has been filed and decided in any Nigerian high court since it is a court of co-ordinate jurisdiction,” she said.
“Furthermore, I agree that the claimants’/respondents’ counsel failed to disclose to the court the true subject matter of this case, namely the suspension of the first defendant, Prince Uche Secondus, from membership in the second defendant (Peoples Democratic Party) by ward 5, Ikuru town, Andoni local government area of Rivers state.“
There is little question that the court was deceived by the claimants’/respondents’ counsel’s refusal to disclose the real facts to the court, which led to the ex parte order on August 26, 2021.
“The scenario produced by the claimants’/respondents’ counsel caused the Nigerian judiciary needless humiliation. It is critical to emphasize that jurisdiction is critical to the resolution of the case. Whatever judicial processes are done, they are null and invalid, regardless of how well they are conducted. I cannot conclude this decision without remarking on the claimants’/respondents’ counsel’s conduct, a senior lawyer who has been practising for many years and who is meant to be a minister in the temple of justice, deceiving the court and being economical with the truth of the case. These actions are reprehensible.
“In light of the foregoing, I completely agree with the applicant’s counsel that the ex parte order issued by this court on August 26, 2021, should be set aside, even under the Kebbi State High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2017, particularly Order 39 Rule 3 (3), which states that ‘an order of injunction issued on an ex parte application shall abate after seven days.’ The court often lacks authority to hear and decide the following: The motion number in KB/HC/M.170/2021, and the substantive suit number is KB/HC/22/2021. I, therefore, revoke the order ex parte given on the 26th of August, 2021 in action number. KB/HC/M.170/2021.
“I also dismiss for lack of jurisdiction the move on notice no KB/HC/M.170/2021 and the substantive litigation no KB/HC/22/2021.”
The court’s latest judgment might be linked to Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Ibrahim Muhammad’s strong caution to judges about issuing contradicting ex parte orders.
Seven top judges, including the Kebbi CJ, have been called by the CJN.
Following a meeting with the judges on Monday, the CJN summoned three judges to appear before the National Judicial Council (NJC) to demonstrate why they should not face disciplinary action for issuing the contradictory ex parte rulings.