New PDP Suffers Double Setbacks As INEC, High Court Rejects Request
The Baraje led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has suffered a double set back in its quest to upstage the Bamanga Tukur led leadership and be recognized as the authentic PDP by both the Independent National Electoral Commission and a Lagos High Court in Ikeja rejected its request.
The New PDP’s quest to have Bamanga Tukur removed as the authentic through a court action filed at a Lagos High Court was thrown out by the court for lack of jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
Baraje, Oyinlola, and the National Deputy Chairman of the New PDP, Dr. Sam Jaja, had asked the court to restrain Tukur and other NWC members from further parading themselves as the officials of the PDP.
They said in the suit filed on September 1, 2013 that they were the authentic members of the National Executive Committee of the PDP elected on August 30, 2013 at a parallel congress.
PDP itself was joined as the fourth claimant in the suit, while Tukur and others were the respondents.
Ruling on the preliminary objection by the respondents, Justice Adefope-Okojie noted that the applicants had averred in their affidavits that the course of action and the dispute leading to the action, were the special conventions of the PDP in Abuja.
She had added that the respondents confirmed that the PDP had its registered office in Abuja and that none of the defendants was resident in Lagos State.
According to her, the doctrine of enforcement of judgment is not relevant to the suit before it.
Adefope-Okojie therefore dismissed the claimants’ argument that the court had jurisdiction over the matter .
But the judge said the doctrine of judgment enforcement was not relevant at the present stage as the court had no jurisdiction to hear the matter in the first place.
She said, “I hold that with the defendants not resident in Lagos and the subject matter originating in Abuja, the High Court of Lagos State has no power to assume jurisdiction over this suit.
“I accordingly make an order striking out the suit.”
Counsel for the respondents, Mr. Joe Kyari-Gadzama (SAN), and Mr. Emeka Etiaba, had in their preliminary notice of objection, asked the court to strike out the suit for lack of jurisdiction.
The lawyers argued that the writs of summons did not comply with the mandatory requirements of Section 97 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act because they were not endorsed.
But the claimants’ counsel, Mr. Robert Emukpaeruo, insisted that the court had jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
In a similar faith, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it would not withdraw the recognition already given the National Working Committee of the Tukur-led PDP, the Lagos High Court on Thursday said it lacked the jurisdiction to entertain a suit in which the New PDP sought an order stopping Tukur from parading himself as the authentic chairman of the ruling party.
The commission was responding to two separate letters dated September 1 and 23, 2013 by the Alhaji Baraje-led New PDP asking that it should be recognised as the real PDP.
The commission in a letter with reference number INEC /LEG/PDP/19/111.25 dated October 2, 2013 and signed by the Acting Secretary of the
Commission, U.F Usman insisted on the leadership of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as the authentic leadership of the National Working Committee of the
The INEC letter was a reply to Mr. Baraje faction’s letter to the commission, in which it notified the commission on the “change of leadership” within the party.
The letter reads, ” Commission acknowledges the receipt of your letter dated September 1 and 23 2013 respectively wherein you requested the
commission’s recognition of the Abubakar Baraje faction of the newly elected National Working Committee.
“You will recall the commission monitored the national convention, and the special national convention of the PDP held on March 12 2012 and
August 31 2013 respectively which took place at the Eagle Square Abuja, after notices to the commission.
” A National Working Committee was elected at the two conventions wherein Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as the national chairman.
“The commission will not withdraw recognition from the leadership of the PDP elected at the election duly monitored by the commission.”
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