Mike Odiegwu, Port Harcourt
SOME aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State have approached the Federal High Court sitting in Owerri, Imo State, demanding the dissolution of the party’s State Working Committee (SWC) led by Ambassador Desmond Akawor.
Listed in the suit as plaintiffs are: Nnah Nyemezu; Ndukah Edeh; Mike Jaja; Gift Amadi; Igweburike Mbah; Ideh Prosperand Andy Umetor
The defendants are: PDP; Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Akawor.
In the motion on notice, the plaintiffs demanded an order of interlocutory injunction, restraining Akawor and his executive committee members from parading themselves as the executive officers of the PDP pending the determination of the suit.
They also sought an order restraining the PDP and INEC from recognising Akawor and his committee members as the executive officers of the party pending the determination of the motion on notice.
While the court presided over by Justice T.G. Ringim refused to grant the orders sought in the interlocutory injunction, it, however, directed the plaintiffs to serve the defendants through substituted means.
The court said: “Prayers 1-3 shall be refused, the defendants shall rather be put on notice to redress any of their actions as held in March 2020. Parties shall address this court as well on the issue of jurisdiction and the convenience of this court to entertain and try this suit.”
The party has, however, flayed its aggrieved members for giving the public an impression that the court suspended the leadership of Akawor.
Akawor, in a statement signed by the party’s Publicity Secretary, Tambari Gbara, said the court documents were being misinterpreted and circulated by faceless individuals with the sole aim of painting a picture of crisis in the Rivers PDP.
Akawor confirmed that the document emanated from the proceedings of a Federal High Court in Owerri, adding that what was being circulated as the orders of the court were the prayers of the plaintiffs in the matter.
He dismissed as baseless the claims that the executive committee under his watch has been asked to stop functioning by the court.
Akawor said: “What actually transpired was the fact of jurisdiction amongst other pertinent legal issues. The court ordered that the state party chairman should be served a suit first and foremost, to enable the party to prepare to put up a representation in court.
“Those that turned the prayers brought before the Owerri High Court into court judgement are mischief-makers and therefore enemies of the State. Rather than becoming happy with the present administration in the State, under the indefatigable Governor, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, these ill-advised persons are busy trying to destabilize the state.”
He said members of the executive were well-elected and assured Rivers people that the new leadership of the PDP would deliver on its mandates.
But Igweburike Mbah, who was named among the plaintiffs, later deposed to an affidavit disassociating self from the case.
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Rivers PDP kicks as members ask court to sack Akawor