An Abuja court refused an exparte application filed by the Tukur-led PDP.
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja presided over by Justice Elvis Chukwu on Friday turned down the request of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, faction led by Bamanga Tukur seeking to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from “recognizing, dealing and relating with the Abubakar Baraje led faction of the party as national officers”.
Mr. Chukwu also refused the prayer by the Tukur-led PDP seeking to restrain the Baraje faction from “parading themselves as national officers of the party and from operating or opening a parallel national, State, Local Government Area and Ward Secretariat of the party pending the determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction”.
Also Mr. Tukur’s faction failed to get an order stopping the Baraje faction “from interfering and continued interference with the duties and functions of the newly elected Executives of the party”.
The judge however, granted an exparte injunction, putting the defendants- Baraje, Oyinlola and others on notice and subsequently adjourned the case to September 12 for accelerated hearing.
While ruling on the application, Mr. Chukwu held that “although I am not afraid of granting an exparte order especially when it borders on issues capable of creating anarchy, I owe a duty to maintain a balance. In the circumstance, what I want to do is to order that they be put on notice.
“Both parties are to maintain ‘status quo ante bellum’ pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice. The time for hearing all the processes in this suit is to be abridged to four days” he said.
The court however granted an order directing that the originating summons and all other processes in the suit be served on the defendants by substituted means by pasting the processes on the entrance gate of their residences.
Mr. Tukur and his PDP faction had approached the court via a motion exparte brought pursuant to order 46 Rule 5  and order 6 Rule 5 [c] wherein they urged the court to grant the above reliefs.
The motion was filed and argued by Tochukwu Onwugbufor on behalf of the applicants. The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Abubakar Baraje, Sam Jaja, Olagunsoye Oyinlola and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar are the defendants.
While moving the exparte application, Mr. Onwugbufor informed the court that the defendants have concluded plans to submit to the INEC on Friday, the names of the purported Governorship and Deputy Governorship candidates of the PDP for the November 16 gubernatorial election in Anambra State, thereby, usurping the exclusive duties and functions of the plaintiffs.
He further drew the attention of the court to the fact that the Baraje faction has concluded plans to open and/or operate parallel PDP Secretariats at Ward, LGA, State and National levels.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria further submitted that the Baraje led faction of the party have created confusion by which “no one knows the real PDP recognized by law and the PDP which is an ‘impostor’.”
According to him, “the most embarrassing thing is that they formed themselves into what they call new PDP as if there was an old PDP. In that wise, they are interfering with the duties and functions of the national officers who were duly elected at the national convention of the party”.
He therefore submitted that the court has the power and duty to protect the right acquired by the plaintiff’s pursuant to the election of August 31.
“If your lordship fails to exercise that power to stop the impostors from the exercise of the right of the plaintiffs, the right may be destroyed even before the motion for the interlocutory injunction is heard, because they could have completed the act complained off,” he submitted.
Bamanga claims victory
Ironically, Mr. Tukur issued a statement Friday evening also claiming victory over the judgment.
“Following the injunction granted by Justice E. S Chukwu of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, upholding the leadership of our great party under my Chairmanship, I wish to use this medium to congratulate and
appreciate my fellow leaders and all members of our great party for your steadfastness and commitment to the ideals of the founding fathers of the PDP underscored by your unflinching loyalty to the constitution of the party,” he said.
Mr. Tukur also said he was ‘very pleased’ with members of the party, who “remained loyal in spite of the recent developments that have confronted our collective resolve to provide purposeful leadership for our party and dear country.
“I wish to reassure you that these developments will in no way distract or affect our undiluted readiness and focus on delivering on all promises incumbent on the mandate vested willingly by you on us.
“As the National Chairman of your party, I shall remain unflinchingly resolute on good leadership. My stand on good governance at all levels from those elected on the platform of the PDP is irrevocable. It is certain that our leverage on the faithful implementation of the manifesto of the PDP will once more ensure victory for our party in the
2015 general elections,” he said.
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