There seems to be more confusion rocking the crisis-ridden Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a Kebbi State High Court sitting in Birnin Kebbi on Thursday reinstated Uche Secondus as the party’s National Chairman.
This occurred just hours after the party’s Board of Trustees ratified the appointment of Yemi Akinwonmi, its Deputy National Chairman (South), as its acting National Chairman following an earlier court decision restraining Secondus to work as PDP chairman.
Justice O. Gbasam of the Degema Judicial Division vacation court, sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, had on Monday granted an interim injunction on Monday, restrained Secondus from parading himself as the PDP National Chairman, following a suit filed by aggrieved members of the party.
But Justice Nusirat Umar, who presided over the hearing at the Kebbi court, granted an interim order reinstating Secondus as the PDP national chairman on Thursday while ruling on a suit with number KB/HC/M.171/2021.
Claimants in the suit are Yahaya Usman, Abubakar Muhammad and Bashar Suleman, while Secondus and the PDP were listed as defendants.
Apart from issuing a stay of execution on an interim injunction restraining Secondus from parading himself as the national chairman, the Kebbi court granted “leave to the first respondent (Secondus) to continue exercising all the constitutional powers of the office of chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party as enshrined in both the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended and the PDP Constitution pending the hearing and determination of the applicants’ motion on notice”.
Just before the court ruling, the PDP Board of Trustees, had ratified Akinwonmi, an indigene from Ogun State, as its acting National Chairman,
Senator Walid Jibrin, Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, announced this after an emergency meeting of the board in Abuja, on Thursday.
“Since our last meeting, there have been several meeting by stakeholders to ensure sanity returns to the party.
“The BoT approved Elder Yemi Akinwonmi as acting National Chairman.
“The BoT accepted the position of the acting chairman of our party following the provisions in the constitution of the party. That is, the deputy national chairman, South, should resume as the acting chairman.
“The NWC has accepted documents submitted by the larger caucus of governors, National Assembly members, former governors, former ministers, and so on, and these include the coming elective convention, which will be in October. They have also agreed to come with a proposed list to the BoT for their own input before the NEC,” Jibrin said.
Jibrin also announced that the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting had been fixed for Saturday, as well as BoT and caucus meetings.
Those who attended the meeting include Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president; former Senate presidents, David Mark, Pius Ayim, Abubakar Saraki, Adolphus Wabara and Iyorchia Ayu.
Others are a former Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Ishaya Bamaiyi (retd.); a former Niger State Governor, who is also the Chairman of the Ex-PDP Governors’ Forum, Babangida Aliyu; and a former Minister of Aviation, Kema Chikwe.
With the current development, it remains unclear if the scheduled NEC meeting will still hold.
The crisis rocking the PDP had forced governors elected under the platform of the party to call for an emergency meeting on Thursday after two members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) suddenly declared themselves as the PDP acting national chairmen.
The two Deputy National Chairmen of the party, Yemi Akinwonmi (South) and Senator Suleiman Nazif (North), in separate announcements on Tuesday, claimed to be the party’s acting National Chairman following the Rivers’ court earlier ruling regarding Secondus.
It was learnt that Akinwonmi is loyal to Nyesom Wike, Governor of Rivers State, who is reported to have instigated calls for the removal of Secondus as the PDP chairman, despite being instrumental in the latter’s emergence as honcho of the party.
Nazif, on the other hand, is said to have the support of the suspended chairman, Secondus.
The current development is, however, contradictory to the resolutions recently reached by the party to resolve its leadership crisis.
The party had earlier held an emergency meeting of its Board of Trustees and other stakeholders on 10 August following the resignation of some members of the NWC and increased calls for Secondus to resign his position as National Chairman.
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