Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has restrained the national body of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from dissolving the Rivers’ chapter of the State Executive Committee over alleged anti-party activities.
Delivering judgment, Justice Ekwo, said he found that the case of the plaintiff, Mr Desmond Akawo, who is the chairman of the state excos, succeeded on merit.
Justice Ekwo held that the PDP and its national chairman did not deny Akawo’s averments.
The judge, who granted all Akawo’s reliefs, declared that the party and its national chairman cannot unilaterally and without reasonable cause, dissolve the state’s excos who were democratically elected for a four-year period.
He also gave an order of injunction restraining them from appointing any person or group of persons as an interim caretaker committee in the state until May 22, 2024.
Justice Ekwo further gave an injunction order restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from giving recognition or accepting any name as caretaker committee of the PDP in the state except those democratically elected and represented by Akawo in the suit.
Akawo had sued the party and Dr Iyorchia Ayu (the immediate-past National Chairman representing himself and members of the National Working Committee (NWC) and National Executive Committee (NEC)) as 1st and 2nd defendants.
He had sought the court’s determination whether having regard to the provisions of Section 223 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 47(1) of the Constitution of the PDP (as amended In 2017), they were not entitled to serve their term.
The PDP chieftain said he and other members of the exco, the local government area executive committees, and the ward executive committee were elected and sworn in pursuant to the state’s congress held on March 21, 2020, and were entitled to complete their four-year term which expires on or about May 22, 2024.
In the affidavit which he personally deposed to, Akawo said that the PDP and its national chairman on Jan. 4, prior to the general elections, threatened to unilaterally dissolve the Rivers’ chapter of SEC and replace the same with an Interim Caretaker Committee.
He, however, said that prior to the threat, neither any member of the state committee nor himself had ever been queried by them.
He, therefore, sought an order of injunction restraining the party and the national chairman from dissolving, suspending, or truncating the tenure of the Rivers’ SEC, the LGA executive committees, and the ward executive committees until May 22, 2024, when their four-year term would expire, among other reliefs.