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Anambra guber: Court nullifies PDP executive, S’East congresses

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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has nullified the South-East Zonal Congresses of the Peoples Democratic Party held on March 6, 2021, barely two weeks to the Anambra State governorship primaries of the party.

The plaintiff, Samuel Anyakorah, had approached Justice Adegbola Adeniyi of the Abuja High Court, seeking among others, the nullification of the March Congresses unless there is a recourse by the PDP (1st defendant) to the extant list of already inaugurated party officers and delegates that emerged “from the Anambra PDP congress conducted on 28 November, 2017 and 1st December, 2017, validated by the Senator Grace Bent Ward Congress Appeal Panel Report under the supervision of Sir Chukwudi Umeaba as acting chairman, State Caretaker Committee.”

In a suit brought before the temple of justice, numbered, HC/CV/774/2021, Anyakorah on behalf of himself and all local government chairmen and ward executives who emerged from the 28th November 2017 and 1st December 2017, by way of originating summons, sought a declaration that virtue of Article 2 of the Constitution of the PDP (amended in 2017), “the said constitution is supreme,” arguing that it has “a binding force on all members and organs of the PDP and that any action or step taken contrary to the relevant provisions of the constitution is unlawful, illegal, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.”

The plaintiff also argued that it is unlawful for the PDP “whether during its South-East Zonal Congress of 6th March 2021, or at any other time, to adopt or publish the name of a state chairman, alongside persons purporting to be EXCO members, local government chairmen and national delegates without recourse to the officers and delegates that emerged in 2017.

He further sought an order nullifying or setting aside all Congresses, designations or appointment made by the PDP with respect to the state chairman for PDP in Anambra state, EXCO members, local government chairmen, national delegates amongst others.

This is even as the plaintiff further prayed the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the PDP, its allies or cronies from further recognizing or dealing with persons names on pages 14, 15 and 16 of the Brochure for the South-East Zonal Congress of 6th March, 2021 “either as state Chairman, EXCO members, local government area chairmen or national delegates of PDP, Anambra state chapter.

In its judgment of 9th June, 2021, the court upheld the prayer of the plaintiff that by virtue of Article 2 of the PDP constitution, “the said constitution is supreme and it has binding force on all members and organs of the party and that any action or step taken contrary to the relevant provisions of the constitution is unlawful, illegal, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.

It also ruled as unlawful for the PDP “whether during its South-East Zonal Congress of 6th March, 2021 or at time to adopt or publish the name of a state Chairman, alongside person purporting to be EXCO members, local government chairman and national delegates without recourse to the extant list of already inaugurated party officers and delegates that emerged from the Anambra PDP congress conducted on 28 November 2017 and 1st December 2017.”

Justice Adeniyi described as arbitrary imposition the current Executive Committee of the PDP in the state, even as he granted all prayers sought by the plaintiff.

The implication of this is that unless the party succeeds at the appellate court, if it chooses to challenge the ruling of the lower court; it may find itself fielding parallel delegates in the November 6 election, which may call for the replication of the Zamfara scenario which cost the All Progressives Congress, the North-Western state in 2019.

With the sack of the Ndubuisi Nwobu-led executive committee, the fate of the 16 aspirants vying for the governorship ticket at the primaries for the November 6 election now hangs in the balance.

How the Prince Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee, NWC, handles this slippery judicial comment will determine the fate of the party in Anambra; a state it governed for years until it lost out to the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA.

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PDP BOT member, Joy Emodi, joins APC

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Senator Joy Emordi, member of Board of Trustees in the Peoples Democratic Party, has defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress.
This is coming barely 24 hours after seven members of the PDP’s National Working Committee resigned their positions in the party.
Chairman, APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni, formally received Emodi during a brief ceremony in Abuja on Wednesday.
A statement by the Director-General, Press, and Media Affairs to the Chairman, Malam Mamman Mohammed, quoted Emordi to have said she was convinced the future of a prosperous and united Nigeria lies in the APC.
She said the APC leadership was sincerely and genuinely committed to a united Nigeria with plans for the future generation.
Emordi said, “The APC-led Federal Government is working for the South-East and this is attracting more PDP members into the APC.”
Buni expressed delight with decision of the board member to contribute to the unity of the country, adding, “There is a need for us to join hands for the political stability and national unity of our dear country.”
He expressed optimism that the coming of Emordi and other prominent politicians from the South-East into the APC would promote national unity.
Buni said, “The South-East is a strong political bloc and very crucial to the unity of the country, this will no doubt add to national cohesion.”

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Fresh crisis in PDP as seven national officers resign

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Fresh crisis is rocking the Peoples Democratic Party as seven national officers made up of deputy national publicity secretary, deputy legal adviser, deputy women leader, amongst others, have resigned from their positions, citing “bad treatment” by the PDP national chairman.
They specically cited financial indiscipline and poor leadership as reasons for their resignation.
They said their grouse was with the Prince Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee.

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APC, PDP attack Jega over rejection advice to electorate

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The All Progressives Congress and opposition Peoples Democratic Party have come hard on erstwhile Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, for advising the electorate to reject both parties in the next general elections in 2023.
While the APC warned Jega to desist from attacking the party as part of his schemes to polish his political career, the PDP said comparing the party with the APC was a big disservice to the nation.
Jega, in an interview with BBC Hausa, warned Nigerians against reelecting the PDP and APC into office in subsequent elections, citing their alleged failure to bring development to the country in the past 20 years.
While the PDP ruled the country from 1999 till 2015, the ruling APC took over power in 2015.
In a statement on Monday, Kola Ologbondiyan, national publicity secretary of the PDP, described the comparison by the former INEC boss as unpardonable disservice to Nigeria.
“Trying to compare the incompetent and decadent APC to the highly productive and development-oriented PDP is an unpardonable disservice to our nation and calls to question the sense of judgment of Professor Jega,” Ologbondiyan said.
“It is indeed unfortunate that Prof. Jega, as a professor of political science, could portray an ignorance of the manifest contrasts between the robust fortunes of our nation under the PDP and the wasteland she has become under the APC.
“Perhaps the Professor needs to be reminded of how the PDP worked hard to revamp our nation’s economy, paid off our huge foreign debts and went ahead to grow the economy to become the largest investment hub in Africa as well as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with Fitch B+ rating; only for the APC to wreck the economy and turned our nation into the world poverty capital and a debtor country in a space of six years.
“Prof. Jega must also be reminded how the PDP reinvigorated the private sector with new businesses and employments springing up in critical sectors of telecoms, aviation, agriculture, manufacturing, oil and gas, education, retailing, hospitality, healthcare and banking among others.
“Today, under the APC and Buhari, these gains have been wrecked with massive closure of businesses, which saw over 60 million Nigerians losing their means of livelihood, with alarming 33.3 percent unemployment rate and over 82.9 million more and about 25 million families not being able to afford their daily meals as our country ranks 98th out of 107 in Global Hunger Index, due to the obnoxious policies of the APC and President Buhari.”
The PDP national publicity secretary added that the PDP stabilised the economy, but the APC wrecked it.
“We invite Professor Jega to note how the PDP ran an all-inclusive and transparent administration that guaranteed freedom of speech, equity, fairness as well as free and fair elections, which he attested to; and how the APC, had been running a massively corrupt, insensitive, divisive and exclusionist administration that has destroyed our national cohesion and turned our nation into a battle field,” he said.
“As professor of political science, Prof. Jega ought to know that while the PDP is an ideologically based political party, the APC is just a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) operated on the basis of deception and that is why it has failed in all ramification and now fizzled in the eyes of the law.”
Ologbondiyan added that Nigerians are already coming to terms with the “failure” of the APC and would hesitate to vote the ruling party in 2023.
The APC in its statement signed by the National Secretary of its Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, said, “Our attention has been drawn to an uncontrolled, wrong and untenable political outburst by a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega in which he lumped the All Progressives Congress (APC), together with the failed People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
“While the PDP failed to meet the expectations of Nigerians as a government and opposition party, the APC is thriving, healthy and assiduously cleaning the massive mess left behind by the PDP which failed to deliver democratic dividends to the people of Nigeria after being in charge of the country for 16 years.
“While Professor Jega is right about the PDP, a party under which he served as the Chairman of the nation’s election management body, we reject his comparison of the APC with the PDP.
“Professor Jega got his facts wrong and mixed up in his baseless comparison of the PDP with the APC.

“While we do not intend to join issues with Professor Jega, we encourage him to engage in genuine scholarly research and come up with evidence-based conclusions on the progressive orientation of the APC.
“It is however instructive to note that having recently abandoned his academic pursuit and blindly plunged into the arena of PDP’s brand of politics, the erstwhile electoral umpire as a politician can make such political statements occasionally while trying to launch his political career in a mushroom political party.
“The APC is a strong, united, popular and focused political unit. Hence, the Professor should note the political lesson that maligning the APC would not provide him with a springboard to achieve his desires. Nigerians are wiser and remain the ultimate judges.”

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