Delivering a judgment in a suit filed by former Political Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Ahmed Gulak on Tuesday, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf ruled that Mr. Secondus was occupying the party’s Chairmanship seat illegally.
The judge also noted that Secondus was from Rivers State, and not North-east geopolitical zone to which the PDP zoned the position and therefore not the right person to occupy the post.
Justice Baba-Yusuf gave Secondus 14 days to vacate the office and directed that the plaintiff or any other party member worthy of that position should be drafted in as his replacement.
Expectedly, lawyer to the PDP and Secondus, Chuwan Isaiah Paul, has signaled the readiness of his client to appeal the judgment and seek a stay of its execution to allow the party’s current leadership prepare for its national convention slated for March 2016.
Justice Baba-Yusuf upheld rejected argument by Secondus and PDP (listed as defendants in the suit) that Gulak lacked the locus standing to initiate the suit having allegedly defaulted in the payment of party’s due.
The judge also rejected the defendants’ argument that Gulak failed to explore the party’s internal mechanism for dispute resolution before approaching the court.
The judge had, on November 30 reserved judgment in the case after entertaining argument from parties.
Gulak had argued that Secondus was occupying the position illegally. He contended that by virtue of the provision of Article 47(6) of the party’s constitution, “the 2nd defendant (Secondus) form Rivers State, cannot replace the immediate past Chairman, Alhaji Muazu, who left office about seven months ago.
He faulted the defendants’ claim that the party’s elders were working on a process to ensure a replacement for Muazu by next March,
Gulak argued that it was unlawful and a breach of the party’s constitutional provisions for Secondus to hold office for over seven months in Acting capacity and refuse to allow a member from the geo-political zone where the last chairman came from to replace him.
By Olisemeka Obeche