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You’re busybodies, S’Court lashes at Abaribe, Nwagbara over Abia PDP primaries suit *Slams N2million fine

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For being meddlesome interlopers and busybodies, the Supreme Court of on Thursday, slammed a N2million fine on Ndudi Nwagbara, Onyekachi Abaribe and 5 others after dismissing a case against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Okezie Ikpeazu, Governor of Abia State over last year’s governorship primaries of the ruling party in the state.

An angry apex court, came out smoking, scolding the lawyers to the politicians who had travelled all the way from the Federal High Court, through the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court, with a suit it found not only frivolous but vexatious and a waste of its time.

It was a case that started from the Federal High Court Umuahia, where the plaintiffs, though not members of the PDP, went to challenge the outcome of the primaries that produced the Uchenna Ikonne, who was also joined in the suit alongside 35 others, as the governorship candidate of the party for the March 11 election.

They had pleaded which started the court in the suit no FHC/UM/CS/62/22 and ended at the apex court as SC/CV/143/2023 for the nullification of the outcome of the primaries conducted on May 25, 2022.

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The journey had commenced at the Federal High Court, Umuahia which threw it out before proceeding to the appellate court where it suffered the same fate, before landing at the apex court, where a panel of seven justices finally nailed it.

At each stage, the verdict was that they were not qualified to bring the matter because they were not aspirants as described in the electoral Act 2022 and therefore lacked the locus standi to bring the action, even though they claimed to have bought forms to contest.

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But, it was at the Supreme Court, which they approached after the appellate court sitting in Owerri, in January 2023, upheld the judgement of the trial court’s verdict, that received a more damning hammer, for even bringing the case that far in the first place, as the justices, not only dismissed it as a rubbish that ought not to have come to them, having lacked the jurisdiction to entertain it.

Led by Justice John Okoro, the apex court had asked Chukwuma Wachukwu Ume (SAN), lawyer to the appellants to withdraw the appeal, after which the matter was promptly dismissed with tonguelashing before a fine of ₦2million in favour of the respondents.

For emphasis, the court ordered that the fine must be paid personally by Ume “for filling a frivolous and vexatious appeal.”

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In a related development, they also filed a motion seeking to substitute Chief Okey Ahaiwe, who is the PDP gubernatorial candidate in Abia State with late Prof Ikonne, which was opposed vehemently that Chief Ahiwe was not a product of the first PDP primary election that produced Ikonne but a product of a different primary election and stands on his own.

PDP lawyers, explained that the implication of the judgement is that there is no legal impediment for any of the governorship, National Assembly and state assembly candidates of the PDP, adding that the hope of the opposition that the said congress and primaries would be cancelled so that PDP will have no candidate in the 2023 general elections as it happened in Rivers and Zamfara States in 2015, had backfired.

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Emeka Eze represented Chief Okey Ahiwe(Party seeking to be joined, Dr Livy Uzochukwu, SAN for PDP, H Balogu for the Governor, Okey Amaechi, SAN for Ikuku, Ukpai Ukairo for Senator Mao, Dr Hagler for Erondu Jnr and Others.

The Apex Court dismissed case which is believed to have been instituted through proxies by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, who left the PDP and also withdrew from the 2022 primaries when it was clear that he was not the favored aspirant of the stakeholders in Abia PDP. He later joined APGA to contest 2023 Abia South senatorial election against Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.

 

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BREAKING: Five days after sacking Ganduje, Kano judge reverses self

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Justice Usman Mallam Na’Abba, of the Kano State High Court, on Monday, reversed himself five days after making an order barring Abdullahi Ganduje National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), from parading himself or performing any official function in that capacity.

In vacating the order made ex-parte, following a plea by Haladu Gwanjo and Laminu Sani Barguma, who claimed to be the Chairman and Secretary of the APC Ganduje Ward in Dawakin Tofa Local Government area of the state, for the suspension of the former Governor of the state from his present job, Na’Abba said he relied on fresh arguments made on the matter.

The fresh applications were brought by Glory Adah, a litigation secretary at the law firm representing the APC boss in a motion ex-parte, accompanied by a 27-paragraph affidavit in support, and a written address dated April 22nd, countering the grounds of his previous orders.

Na’Abba, who adjourned the case to April 30 for the hearing, said: “An order of interim injunction is hereby granted staying the execution of the order of interim injunction contained in the ruling of this court delivered on 17h April 2024 directing parties to maintain status quo ante as at the 15th day of April 2024 in relation to the suspension of the 4th respondent/applicant from the 1st respondent by the Ganduje Ward Executive Committee pending the hearing and determination of the 4th respondent/applicant motion on notice.”

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We don’t know about any removal order, Ganduje remains Chairman – APC

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There is no valid order stripping Abdullahi Ganduje of his position of National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), known to the party and therefore, he will continue his duties as prescribed, the National Working Committee (NWC), has insisted, debunking that he is no longer a member of the party by the orders of the courts.

Felix Morka, spokesman of the party, who made this declaration on Wednesday, on Arise Television, maintained that neither Ganduje himself nor the party, was served with the orders, said to have been obtained against the party boss by his ward in Kano State, where he served as a two-term governor between 2015 and 2023.

Insisting that Ganduje’s position remained intact, explained that the ruling party would disregard the said court order affirming Ganduje’s suspension as APC national chairman and only honour the recent Kano Federal High Court ruling ordering a stay of the order.

The declaration is coming on a day Justice AM Liman of the Federal High Court, Abuja overturned the said suspension of Ganduje by his ward executives in Dawakin Tofa Local Government area of Kano State.

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The party boss, had obtained the ruling through another ex-parte motion in which he sought to enforce his fundamental right to a fair hearing, in a suit, in which he also joined the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), Department of State Services (DSS ), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and nine other individuals.

Morka told his hosts: “The order issued by the first court was very disturbing, for some reasons. First, the plaintiffs who purportedly filed that action are not recognised members of our party and therefore shouldn’t have the locus standi to invoke the authority of the court to make any such order.

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“Secondly, every lawyer in this country is aware that from the Supreme Court up to the NJC, there is this cautiousness that judges don’t make orders that are far-reaching in effect on an ex parte motion or application”

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LP convention: How Abure disobeyed Obi *Search for peace continues – Tanko

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Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), did his best to resolve the crisis in the party, but his suggestions for lasting peace was ignored by the National Chairman, Julius Abure.

This much was revealed by Yinusa Tanko, Chief Spokesman for the Obi-Datti Campaign Organisation, who made the revelation, said that the current crisis rocking the party, could have been prevented if the leadership had taken the advice of the former Governor of Anambra State.

A guest on The Morning Brief, a breakfast programme on Channels television, on Monday, the former campaign spokesman, said: “His Excellency, Peter Obi, has made a concerted effort in trying to intervene at any point we have this particular issue and trying to improve.

“When the issue of the national convention came up, he (Obi) suggested to the national chairman that because we are bigger now, we need to have a wider consultation: meet with responsible and interested people such as the TUC and NLC, stakeholders, the Obidient group – young generation people who are interested in seeing Nigeria work – meet with leaders who have different ideas that can midwife us into a greater height.

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“All of these were the suggestions that he (Obi) made, and not only did he make those suggestions, he practicalised them because he met with the members of the National Assembly. He (Obi) met with the leadership of the party recently in Asaba trying to give them ideas on how he thinks certain things could be done and you could improve our situation but of course, you know how politics is, sometimes, people may be trying to encourage people, but they do something different.

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“You can only take a horse to the river, but you cannot force it to drink water. So that’s exactly what Peter Obi has done. He has done so greatly to see if we can find a solution to some of the problems we find ourselves.”

Tanko, who argued that Abure had the right to contest the national chairmanship position again, it was only proper that the right things are done by opening the door for more people to be part of the process, noted however that the party boss went outside an initial agreement to have an all-inclusive national convention which ought to start from the ward, local government and state levels before the national level.

He said that the convention held in Nnewi Anambra State that returned Abure as the party’s leader did not conform with that agreement and therefore was not acceptable to everyone within the party.

Asked if the crisis in the party could be a problem for Obi in the next election, Tanko said Obi is a brand of his own and that he and other people would always move with him wherever he went to.

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At the convention of the Labour Party held on March 27 in Nnewi, Abure was re-elected as the National Chairman for a second term by a unanimous affirmation of delegates despite strong opposition by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had also said none of its officials monitored the convention while the party’s Board of Trustees insisted that Abure’s tenure had expired.

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Before the controversial convention, the NLC called for Abure’s resignation as party chairman and the immediate constitution of a caretaker transition committee to organise a legitimate and all-inclusive national convention for the party.

 

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