Preparations for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national convention slated for October 30, 2021, entered a new phase yesterday, with Adamawa State governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, emerging chairman of the convention committee.
Also, his Enugu State counterpart, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, was appointed to head the party’s zoning committee.
The party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) made the appointments yesterday in Abuja after approving the composition of the national convention planning committee as well as the zoning committee to zone offices of the National Working Committee (NWC).
PDP governors and other party stakeholders had met for over seven hours on Wednesday to choose those who will chair the two strategic committees.
Rising from their meeting, the PDP national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, who read the communiqué, said, “NEC approved Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, the governor of Adamawa State as chairman, 2021 National Convention Organising Committee.
“Senator Douye Diri, the governor of Bayelsa State is the deputy chairman of the committee, while Engr Seyi Makinde, the governor of Oyo State is to serve as secretary.”
On the zoning committee, he said, “NEC approved Rt Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the governor of Enugu state as Chairman of the zoning committee.
“Dr Samuel Ortom, the governor of Benue State is deputy chairman and Barr. Mahdi Aliyu Mohammed is secretary of the committee”.
He added that NEC charged the committees to work hard to ensure the successful conduct of the national convention.
Ologbondiyan added that NEC received the report of the Senator David Mark-led committee, which is intervening in certain issues relating to the leadership challenges in the party.
“The David Mark committee assured that efforts are on to resolve all court matters”, he added.
The committee was set up to mediate in the legal tussle between Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, and the national chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus.
Ologbondiyan further stated that the NEC thanked Nigerians “for the confidence they repose in the PDP and for the solidarity and support they have collectively shown our party at this trying time.”
Court Refuses To Hear Suit Against Secondus’ Removal
Meanwhile, Justice Tijjani Ringim of the Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday refused to hear a suit filed by the Uche Secondus faction of the PDP seeking to bar the party from holding any meeting except the one called by the suspended chairman.
The applicants specifically urged the court to restrain the party and any other member of the party from calling, summoning or presiding over any meeting of the party, including the meeting of any committee of the party, any congress of the party, the National Working Committee, the National Executive Committee, the National Convention, except the one called by Secondus pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
But Justice Ringim refused to entertain the suit on the ground that the matter was unripe for hearing and that the defendants are yet to respond to the motion.
Listed as Applicants in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/1117/2021 are Hon Eddy Olafeso, Alhaji Rashidi Olakunle Sunmonu, Hon Daisi Akintan, Hon Bunmi Jenyo and Hon Wahab Owokoniran.
The respondents apart from the party are Prince (Dr) Uche Secondus, Elder Yomi Akinwonmi (PDP deputy national chairman, South), Senator Suleiman (PDP deputy national chairman, North), Senator Ibrahim Tsauri (national secretary, PDP), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and attorney-general of the federation (AGF).
When the case came up for hearing yesterday, counsel to the applicant, Chimezie Victor Ihekweazu (SAN), told the court that his client’s motion on notice was ripe for hearing based on a ruling delivered by the court on September 1, 2021, which mandated all parties in the suit to be put on notice, while the court fixed yesterday for hearing of the suit.
However, a lawyer, Chucks Ugo, announced his appearance for the party and Senator Ibrahim Tsauri, the party’s national Secretary (first and fifth respondents), while Oladayo Ilori, who holds the brief of Olatunbosun Osifowora also claimed to be representing all the defendants except the party’s embattled national chairman, Dr Uche Secondus who is second defendant in the suit.
Both Chucks and Oladayo informed the court that they had the mandate of the respondents to represent them in the suit.
However, Justice Ringim, after listening to the lawyers, held that the two counsels were in disharmony and cannot represent a client.
He therefore urged the parties to resolve the issue of legal representation.