A Federal High Court in Abuja has, on Tuesday, dismissed the Acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Uche Secondus [pictured above], from office.
Mr Secondus was removed following a suit filed by Mr. Ahmed Gulak, the former Special Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan on political matters.
In his judgement, the presiding judge, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf held that the position of the Acting National Chairman of the party was zoned to the north-east, hence could not be occupied by Mr Secondus, who is from the south-south.
Justice Baba-Yusuf upheld the prayer of Mr Gulak that Mr Secondus was occupying the position of the Acting National Chairman of the party illegally.
He, therefore, ordered the Acting Chairman to vacate the office within 14 days.
Justice Baba-Yusuf noted that Secondus was from Rivers State, and not North-east geopolitical zone to which the PDP zoned the position.
He gave Secondus 14 days within which to vacate the office and directed that the plaintiff or any other party member worthy of that position should take Secondus’ place.
Lawyer to the PDP and Secondus, Chuwan Isaiah Paul, said the party will appeal the judgment and seek a stay of its execution to allow the party’s current leadership prepare for its national convention slated for March next year.
“Apart from the appeal, we are also going to file a stay of execution of the judgement because the National Convention of the party is in March next year,” he had sad.
Justice Baba-Yusuf rejected argument by Secondus and PDP (listed as defendants in the suit) that Gulak lacked the locus standing to initiate the suit having allegedly defaulted in the payment of party’s due.
The judge also rejected the defendants’ argument that Gulak failed to explore the party’s internal mechanism for dispute resolution before approaching the court.
The judge had, on November 30 reserved judgment in the case after entertaining argument from parties.
Gulak had argued that Secondus was occupying the position illegally. He contended that by virtue of the provision of Article 47(6) of the party’s constitution, “the 2nd defendant (Secondus) form Rivers State, cannot replace the immediate past Chairman, Alhaji Muazu, who left office about seven months ago.
He faulted the defendants’ claim that the party’s elders were working on a process to ensure a replacement for Muazu by next March,
Gulak argued that it was unlawful and a breach of the party’s constitutional provisions for Secondus to hold office for over seven months in Acting capacity and refuse to allow a member form the geo-political zone where the last chairman came from to replace him.
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