Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of the High Court of the Federal Territory (FCT), Maitama, Abuja yesterday sacked the Acting Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus.
The judge, in a judgment in a suit by Ahmed Gulak, a former political adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, held that Secondus was occupying the party’s chairmanship seat illegally.
Justice Baba-Yusuf noted that Secondus was from Rivers State and not Northeast 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 IsaiahPaul, said the party would appeal the judgment and seek a stay of its execution to allow the party’s leadership prepare for its national convention slated for March, next year.
Justice Baba-Yusuf rejected argument by Secondus and PDP (listed as defendants in the suit) that Gulak lacked the locus standi 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) from Rivers State, cannot replace the immediate past chairman, Alhaji Adamu 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 from the geo-political zone, where the last chairman came from, to replace him.