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PDP crisis: court orders validate Aug. 17 national convention

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PDP

▪Orders INEC to monitor the convention ▪ Directs Police, DSS  to provide security ▪PDP  National Convention Planning Committee affirms that the convention will hold as scheduled 

A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt on Monday validated the August 17th , 2016  National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party , PDP, scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt.

The court directed the  Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to monitor party’s national convention. 

The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt also directed the Inspector-General of Police, the Rivers State Commissioner of Police the Director-General of the Department of State Services, DSS, to provide security for the national convention billed to hold in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, 17th August, 2016.

In a similar vein, Chairman of the PDP National Convention Planning Committee, and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that the convention will proceed on 17th August,

He also ruled, “The 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4thdefendants are hereby mandated to provide security for the national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, August 17 2016 or any other date and venue pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice or the originating summons as the honourable court may decide.

“The 5th defendant (INEC) is mandated to monitor the National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt on Wednesday August 17, 2016  or any other date and venue pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice or the originating summons as the honourable court may decide.”

The court also ordered that the police, DSS and INEC be served by substituted means through their respective offices in Port Harcourt.

Delivering a ruling in a motion on notice filed by Secretary of the PDP National Convention Planning Committee, Senator Ben Obi for himself  and other members of the National convention Planning Committee against  the Inspector-General of Police the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State, the Department of State Services and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in suit number FHC/ PH/CS/585/2016, Justice Ibrahim Watila ordered INEC to ensure that it monitors the national convention. 

Justice Watila declared  that the July 4 ,,2016 judgment  of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt recognised the  May 21, 2016 National Convention which produced the National Caretaker Committee has not been  appealed against  or set aside, hence it behooves  the court to protect that judgment. 

The court added that there is no injunction  against  the holding of the August 17th, 2016 National Convention in Port Harcourt brought to the attention  of  the  court during the hearing of the application by Senator Ben Obi. 

Justice Watila  ruled, “The 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4thdefendants are hereby mandated to provide security for the national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, August 17 2016 or any other date and venue pending the hearing  the originating summons as the honourable court may decide.

“The 5th defendant (INEC) is mandated to monitor the National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt on Wednesday August 17, 2016  or any other date and venue pending the hearing and determination of the originating summons as the honourable court may decide.”

The court declared that it found the affidavit  tendered by the plaintiff/applicant to be true, pointing out  that  it was at no point contested by the defendants , even though they were duly served.

Justice Watila adjourned the suit to 16th August,  2016 for the hearing  of the originating  summons filed by Senator Ben Obi. 

In an interview after the ruling, Counsel to Senator Ben Obi,  Barrister Wori Nyeche Wori said with the granting of the interlocutory  injunction,  the party has the legal backing to carry on with  the  17th August PDP National Convention. 

Addressing  journalists in Port Harcourt,  Governor Wike said everything is  set for the for the convention. 

He said: “Let me assure you that as the chairman of the National Convention Planning Committee, we are backed  by law and the court that the convention will go ahead.

“The court has recognised the May 21 National Convention before  now in its July 4, 2016 Judgment.  Again,  today, the Federal High Court has re-confirmed that INEC should monitor the August 17 , 2016 National Convention and that the security  agencies should provide  security  as required”.

The Chairman of the PDP National Convention Planning Committee noted that the said suit was filed by the Caretaker Committee against INEC and Security agencies because  they were party in the July 4, 2016 Judgment. 

Simeon Nwakaudu

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