Substitution Notice Stalls Hearing Of Application To Remove PDP National Officers
Definite hearing in a suit seeking to sack the Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Sam Jaja and seventeen other members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) could not continue on Monday as an application for substitution forced the court to adjourn.
Some members of the PDP had approached the court for an order to nullify the election of Mr Jaja and 17 others.
Apart from Mr Jaja, the other NWC members sued include Bala Bawa Ka’oje (National Treasurer), Solomon Onwe (Deputy National Secretary), Umar Tsauri (Deputy National Auditor),Olisa Metuh (National Publicity Secretary), Bode Mustapha.
Others are Kema Chikwe (Women Leader), Victor Kwon (National Legal Adviser), and Anunakar Mustapha (National Organising Secretary).
The plaintiffs’ suit was founded on the basis that the affected NWC members, did not emerge in accordance with the constitution and guidelines of the PDP.
They also predicated their argument on the strength of a report said to have emanated from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) wherein, the electoral body was said to have picked holes in the March 2012 National Convention of the party, which produced the defendants as the party’s officials.
However, the matter, which was slated for hearing of pending applications, could not go on, owing to an application for substitution brought by the party’s National Auditor, Fatai Adeyanju.
Counsel to the applicant, Oluyede Ajibola,had moved the application praying the court to substitute the name of the third defendant and former Auditor, Bode Akin Mustapha,with his.
Mr Ajibola argued that, since he is now the national auditor, it was only proper for him to have been listed as a co-defendant, rather than Mr Mustapha, whom he said was removed from the office, consequent upon an order by a Federal High court sitting in Lagos.
Having listened to all the arguments trial judge, Justice Suleiman Belgore, adjourned the matter till July 4, “for ruling, taking of all the preliminary objections and hearing of the originating summons”.
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