The Appeal Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Friday October 29, 2021, granted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) the right to hold its national convention scheduled for October 30 and 31, 2021.
This is despite the efforts of the party’s ex-chairman, Mr. Uche Secondus, to legally scuttle the execise.
Delivering the ruling on behalf of two other justices on Friday, Justice Gabriel Kolawole held that the attempt by the applicant, Uche Secondus, to suspend the planned convention was an act of “self-induced urgency” to disrupt an ongoing lawful process of the party.
He wondered why Secondus waited for too long to seek the stoppage of the process, which had been communicated to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by the acting national chairman of the party, Yemi Akinwonmi, who Secondus duly handed over to.
The judge also held that Secondus did not oppose the notice of the convention written by the acting chairman to INEC and did not also oppose INEC replying to the PDP through the acting chairman.
Meanwhile, the lawyer to Secondus, Tayo Oyetibo, said that his client would wait for the outcome of the main suit on his status as the chairman and a member of the party before the same court to determine whether or not to go on appeal.
He, however, maintained that an outcome in favour of his client would definitely have a consequential effect on the convention slated for Abuja.
A chieftain of the PDP and Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, while reacting to the ruling, said it was a victory for every member of the PDP.
“It is a victory for every member of PDP,” Wike told reporters. “It is a sign that PDP is prepared for 2023.”
The governor pointed out that Secondus had already handed over his chairmanship to PDP National Deputy Chairman (South), Yemi Akinwonmi, and had no right to seek the postponement of the convention.
“We will not allow any individual or groups to derail the rescue mission of the PDP,” he said. “The title of our convention is ‘Join us to rescue Nigeria’.
“Nigeria is in problem and we cannot do it alone. We require everybody to work with us for collectively and see how this country can be rescued.
“So, if there is anybody or group who are being used to derail us, PDP will not take it lightly. We are serious about it and nothing will stop us from rescuing this country.
“PDP should be thanking God Almighty. We should be jubilating and praising God for bringing unity to this country.”
He also said that the Court of Appeal judgement granted PDP an “unrestrained” right to hold the convention, making any other court judgement obtained to halt the process irrelevant.