Symbol of justice
Chuks Okocha and Daji Sani
In what appears as the complication of the political situation in Adamawa State, the Caretaker Committee of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been restrained by the High Court seating in Yola, from going ahead with the local government and state congresses schedule to hold on January 3 and 8, respectively.
The Acting Chief Judge of the state, Justice Nathan Musa, who was sworn-in on December 31, 2012, in his first assignment yesterday, granted an interim injunction restraining the PDP Caretaker Committee from continuing with local government areas and state congresses on the bases of complaints filed against the conduct of the PDP ward congresses conducted in the state on December 27, 2012.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Maryam Aloma Mukthar, had directed Governor Murtala Nyako, to swear in Justice Bathimawus Popo Lawi, being the most senior Chief Judge in the state, and not Justice Nathan Musa.
But Nyako swore-in the latter on the eve of the new year.
Sequel to a motion filed by one Alhaji Mustapha Njobdi and two others against the PDP and 10 others, before the Acting CJ complaining that their fundamental human rights have been trespassed upon by the refusal of the Caretaker Committee to allow them participate in the December 27, 2012 PDP ward congresses in the state.
And in a bid to understand and possibly resolve the arising confusion, the Presidential committee on the Adamawa PDP crisis led by Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido, is set to meet tomorrow to review the developments in the state.
THISDAY gathered that the Lamido-led committee would meet to review why the ward congresses that took place on December 27, 2012, despite its directive that all issues relating to the election should be suspended.
Though former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, had described the ward congress as “historic”, the committee, it was gathered, was not happy that the election took place even as efforts to resolve the crisis was yet underway.
But in the motion seeking to stop the continuation of the congresses, the plaintiffs contended that they were unfairly excluded from participating in the December 27, 2012 PDP ward congresses in Gella ward, Mubi South local government area of the state.
The plaintiffs in their prayers said: “Even though they were eligible to contest the election by virtue of being active members who contributed to the development of the party since 2009, wonder why they should be excluded from participation in the ward congresses as they argued that they obtained nomination forms for the election after paying their dues.”
They similarly alleged that delegates and ward officers in the ward congresses conducted in Adamawa State by the defendant, on December 27, 2012 were never elected but were imposed on members of the party by the defendants. They said if the subsequent congresses are allowed to take place, the same infringements will be repeated.
In his presentation, counsel to the plaintiffs said the first defendant had conducted ward congresses in all the Local Governments areas of the state and based on the guidelines, any member who is eligible to contest can buy forms which the plaintiffs have done. They filled and returned same but unfortunately, their names were missing. He also said the application was supported by 42 paragraphs and annexed by 4 exhibits A, B, C, D and the case was adjourned to January 8, 2013 for further hearing
In an earlier development, the Zone 3 Police Command had suspended the ongoing Peoples Democratic Party congresses in Adamawa State and other political activities.
The Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 3, Yola, Mr. Mohhamed Tambari Yabo, had asked the Caretaker Committee of the PDP led by Umar Damangu, to suspend the ongoing state congresses in the state based on security reasons.
Damagun committee was set up two and half months ago by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP, to conduct fresh state congresses in Adamawa State after dissolution of Kugama-led state executive committee.
The AIG in a security meeting yesterday told the PDP stakeholders that available security reports at his disposal is unfavourable to any form of political gathering in the state.
“Maiha, Song, Hong and Fufore are all towns close to the state capital which had been witnessing series of attacks by yet to be identified gunmen in recent times. We are doing our best as law enforcement agents to bring the perpetrators of the dastardly acts to book. We need your cooperation on premises that any form of political gathering would be suspended till further notice for the interest of the state,” sources at the meeting quoted the AIG as saying.
However, the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee, Damagun, told the meeting that he needed to consult with the national leader of the party since he could not make decision over the conduct of the congresses.
According to him, “I did not bring myself to Adamawa State but there is a need for me to make a consultation with the people that gave me this assignment expected to end by January 17, 2013.