The embattled National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, has asked the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal to affirm that his four-year tenure ends on December 9, 2021.
He also asked the appellate court to quash the orders of the two high courts that restrained him as the national chairman of the party.
Secondus also asked the court to nullify his suspension, insisting that Section 59(3) of the PDP constitution clearly stated that the ward or the state executive committee of any state has no powers to suspend any national officer of the party.
Following attempts to remove Secondus from office by some chieftains of PDP, the governors of the party, Board of Trustees (BoT) members, former Senate Presidents, former governors, and other leaders of the party had on August 10, 2021, abridged his tenure by bringing the party’s National Convention forward from December 2021 to October.
They had also prevailed on the Secondus-led National Working Committee of the party (NWC) not to seek re-election at the October National Convention.
Political analysts had thought that the intervention of the leaders of the party would calm frayed nerves,
But a Rivers State High Court, in an interim order dated August 23, 2021 and signed by Justice O. Gbasam and the Assistant Chief Registrar (Litigation), Patricia N. Victor Nwoka, restrained Secondus from parading himself as the PDP National Chairman.
The claimants/applicants in the suit No HC/240/2021, are: Ibeawuchi Ernest Alex, Dennis Nna Amadi, Emmanuel Stephen and Umezirike Onucha, while the defendants are: Secondus and the PDP.
In obedience to the Rivers State High Court order, Secondus abdicated his office and handed over to his deputy, Mr. Yemi Akinwonmi
However, his supporters went to a Kebbi State High Court, which issued an interim order directing him to resume office, pending the determination of the substantive suit.
But few hours after respite came his way, another high court in Cross River State ordered him to stop parading himself as the Chairman of the main opposition party
The interim order was issued by Justice Edem Kufre, upon an application brought by a member of the party, Enang Wani, ahead of the PDP NEC meeting.
To ensure that he returns to his desk and also remains in office until the end of his tenure, Secondus has asked the appellate court to affirm that his four-year tenure will end on December 9, 2021.
In the appeal filed by his lawyer, Mr. Emeka Etiaba (SAN), the PDP chairman is challenging the order of the Degema High Court in Rivers State and the Calabar High Court in Cross River State.
He argued that Section 59(3) of the PDP constitution clearly stated that the wards or the state executive committee of any state has no powers to suspend any national officer of the party
According to him, it is the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party that has the right to suspend a national officer after he has passed through a disciplinary committee.
He also insisted that the constitution of the party guaranteed that the tenure of any member of the NWC, including the national chairman, is four years, stressing that his tenure will end on December 9.
Chuks Okocha in Abuja