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PDP Crisis: Ojealaro Drags Dan Orbih, PDP To Court

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All is not well in Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) as a member Friday Ojealaro Esq dragged the party to court.

Ojealaro approached Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Monday in a suit no. FHC/ABJ/CS/1256/19 over the confusion surrounding the State Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih extended tenure.

The defendants are: The PDP, the PDP National Chairman Prince Uche Secondus, Chief Dan Orbih and the Independent National Electoral Commission.

PDP Crisis: Member Drags Dan Orbih, PDP To Court
dan orbih

The lawyer had alleged that Orbih’s tenure as substantive PDP Chairman began on the 24 September 2011. He claimed the Chairman’s tenure expired on the 24 of September 2019 warning that anything he does henceforth will be ultra vire and would lack validity.

However, while some supported his postulation, others argued that the PDP Chairman commenced his second term in March 2016, therefore, will end by March 2020.

Reacting, Ojealaro said “I see the argument that his tenure will end in March next year as untenable as the congress referred to did nothing but to affirm his 2nd term which he has started enjoying about 7 months earlier.

“It is because the matter appears strongly to be a very technical legal dilemma that I decided to escalate it to the office of the National Working Committee and Exco of the PDP for them to critically appraise the situation with legal lenses.

“I awaited their response for two weeks but to no avail. I decided to approach the court on this matter. My reason for going to court is clear. I want clarity through judicial interpretation. This is to avoid a situation akin to what recently befell APC in Zamfara from happening to us in Edo state, most especially as a gubernatorial election is imminent.

“It is in this connection that I filed an originating summons at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.”

“Immediately they received copies of the court processes, the National Exco which has refused to attend to my letter for over 2 weeks hurriedly packaged a meeting with Edo PDP stakeholders which included Chief Orbih and made a pronouncement on the 23rd day of October,2019 ( 2 days after they have been served court processes) that; Chief Orbih’s tenure will end on March 2020 and not in September 2019. “

Ojealaro described the position of the PDP National Exco as an afterthought, adding that it portends many things.

He also lamented that the handling of the situation only exposed the party’s ill-preparedness in every crucial situations as patholical.

“The fact that under an APC regime where the lapses of a court judge can be ‘technically’ visited on an innocent litigant ala Senator Adeleke is lost on them evidences this. Sitting and making sweeping pronouncements on a matter that is now before a competent court is clearly beyond their powers.

“If they are diligent, what the National Exco would have done is to wait for the court to help out in this situation. The suit before the court is not ad hominem but rather one that seeks clear judicial interpretations of section 223 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Section 47(1) of the PDP Constitution vis a vis the tenure of Chief Dan Orbih as PDP Chairman, Edo State. This will give clarity and certainty to the party for our general interest. “

“Anyways, they have decided to use political lenses instead of legal lenses to look at the matter. This will not in anyway deter my resolve to pursue the matter in court. It is only a judicial interpretation of the situation that can douse our apprehensions and guide the party appropriately.”

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