PDP NEC Takes Over Appeal Court Cases in Rivers as Wike Kicks

Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt

The Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt has granted the national leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) the request to take over all cases pending at the appellant court in Rivers State.

The move came just as Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has stated that it was an act of anti-party for the PDP to tell lawyers handling legal suits on behalf of the party in the state to dissociate themselves from the cases.

Mr. Johnson Usman, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, had read a letter from the national body of the PDP to debrief all counsels representing the party in cases before the courts in the state.

When the appeal filed by PDP against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Accord and its governorship candidate, Dumo Lulu-Briggs and deputy came up, one of the counsels representing PDP from Ukala’s chambers, Dike Udenna, requested and applied that the court should debrief them since the appellant in the matter had asked them to hands off the case.

He also requested and applied that they should be debriefed in an appeal filled by PDP against INEC, APC and its National Assembly candidates.

Other counsels in the case did not oppose the request and the new legal representation from PDP, Usman, requested that the court should give him time to study the cases.

The lead judge, Justice Joseph Shangbai, granted the request to debrief state PDP counsel and adjourned till February 3, 2023, for hearing.

However, in his reaction, Wike argued that instead of the PDP national leadership to support the suits by the PDP in Rivers, it asked lawyers handling the various legal matters to withdraw legal representations.

Wike, said this yesterday, during the State PDP campaign flag off rally in Okehi, Etche Local Government Area of the state.

The Rivers State governor stated that anti-party begets anti-party and since the PDP national had started the anti-party game, it would get anti-party in return from his camp.

“We have caught them. They are the ones engaged in anti-party. I told them anti-party begets anti party. You know we carried these small parties (APC, SDP) to court for failing to do what the law says.

“The people in Abuja that say they are national have gone to collude with them (opposition parties) to write our lawyers a letter that they should take their hands off, in order to kill the cases we filed. I have told our lawyers to withdraw from the matters. I will hit them back by tomorrow.

“Nobody hurts us without sustaining a scar. Anybody who dares to touch us in Rivers State, I will inflict many scars on him and we have started it. We are voting for our people here. Now you have told us you are doing anti-party. We will show you what anti party is. Already, we have caught them red-handed.”

Wike emphasised that the forthcoming election was a battle that must be won, and urged Etche people to go home, get prepared by collecting remainder of their Permanent Voters Card with INEC and vote all PDP candidates in the State.

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