PDP Warns against Court Action to Scuttle National Convention

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*Secondus: I’m only seeking justice
Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Convention Organising Committee (NCOC), has warned members against any court action that could distract the October 30 and 31 national convention of the party, warning party members to be wary of such disgruntled and misguided folks in its fold.

But as the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, is billed to sit tomorrow to hear the interlocutory motion restraining the party’s convention, suspended national chairman, Uche Secondus, has said he was only seeking justice and was not the one that took the party to court in the first place.

Reacting to the case instituted at the High Court in Kaduna to prevent the PDP from holding its convention, Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, who is the Secretary of the planning committee, in a statement released late Sunday night, stated that the party is “using this medium to alert members of party and members of the public that we are aware of the actions of a few misguided PDP members, who have approached the High Court in Kaduna in an attempt to prevent PDP from holding its National Convention on October 30 and 31, 2021.”

“Notwithstanding their right to approach a court of competent jurisdiction to air their grievances, we maintain that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the PDP, has acted in good faith in fixing our convention for October 30 and 31. It is not meant to witch-hunt anyone or to truncate anyone’s mandate.

“Therefore, we call on all members and supporters of the PDP to ignore this distraction as we prepare to host a convention that will send a clear signal to Nigerians that the PDP is the only party that has the will and the might to rescue Nigeria from the catastrophe that we have been enduring for the past six years.

“Therefore, we urge our teeming supporters nationwide to keep the faith as we are taking all necessary measures to ensure that we will not be distracted from our goal,” he said, adding that they were determined to strengthen the party structure and put in the work needed to unify and restore the nation back on the path to economic prosperity and greatness.

“We therefore urge all party faithful to continue to rally support as we prepare to host our National Convention on October 30 and 31, 2021,” the statement maintained.
But Secondus, in a statement by his media adviser, Ike Abonyi, stated that, “For the avoidance of doubt, the media office wishes to restate that Prince Secondus is really under pressure for justice and would seek it anywhere to save the party from hirelings out to destroy and derail the focus of the party. The truth, which the said news did not state is that Prince Secondus is not in court against the party but was dragged to court instead by person bent on hijacking the soul of the party.”

He said the party leaders are aware of who, went to court against it and knows what to do rather than indulging in mind game, adding, “Nothing short of Justice and respect for its servants will save PDP from the hands holding now.

“For avoidance of doubt the justice Prince Secondus is seeking is as enshrined in the party constitution, which is Supreme and states clearly how a National Chairman and any National officer can be sanctioned even where there is a known breach talk less where there’s none.”

However, buttressing the point that he did not take PDP to court in the first place, Tayo Oyetiba (SAN), said, on 23 August 2021, one Mr lbeawuchi E. Alex and four others jointly instituted Suit No PHC/2183 /CS/202I at the High Court of Rivers State, Port Harcourt Judicial Division against Secondus and the PDP as Defendants.
“On I0 September 202 1, the High Court of Rivers State delivered its judgment in the Suit whereby Prince Uche Secondus was, inter alia, restrained from performing the functions of the office of National Chairman of the PDP,” he said.

Oyetiba is expected on Tuesday at the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt to move a motion to stop the national convention pending the conclusion of the appeal by Secondus.
He is also seeking an affirmation of his four years as contained in section 59 (3) that guaranteed his four years in line with the constitution of the PDP.

In the motion to restrain the PDP from holding the national convention, Oyetiba argued that “The general practice is that on application for an order for interlocutory injunction, all activities affecting the res, are automatically terminated as a mark of respect to the court before whom the application is pending.

“If parties to the suit senselessly rush their tortious trespassory activities in the spacious belief that that would promote their unfounded claims to the res, nothing can be farther from the truth. Such heedless posture is, to say the least, a fragrant disrespect to the court. It clearly, in my opinion amounts to intransigence for a party against whom an order for injunction is sought to intensify his interference with the res.”