Court sacks Ebonyi PDP caretaker committee
A federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, has sacked the Fred Udeogu-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caretaker Committee in the state, describing it as illegal.
The court maintained that the dissolution of the party’s executive committee led by. Onyekachi Nwebonyi was illegal and could not stand, ordering the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to recognise the caretaker committee constituted by the national leadership of the PDP in the state.
The order followed a suit instituted by Nnachi Okoro, the legal adviser of the Nwebonyi-led executive that was dissolved in November 2020 by the national leadership of the party, after the defection of Governor David Umahi to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Okoro had, in the suit, argued that his purported removal from office as the legal adviser of the PDP by virtue of the purported dissolution of the State Executive Committee without a fair hearing was contrary to the party’s constitution and the country’s constitution.
The presiding Judge, Justice Aluko Akintayo, in a three-hour sitting, ruled that the purported dissolution of the executive committee, which led to the removal of the plaintiff, was absurd and inconsistent with the provisions of the constitution.
Akintayo noted that the party acted harshly without any evidence of wrongdoing against the plaintiff, adding that the defection of Umahi to the APC was in the exercise of his fundamental human right of freedom of association and could not be a justifiable ground to remove the plaintiff from office.
Nwebonyi welcomed the judgment, describing it as a victory for democracy, adding that by the outcome of the judgment, he remained the authentic chairman of the party in the state.
But the legal adviser to the Fred Udeogu-led PDP executive, Mudi Erhenede, said they would appeal the judgment to get a stay of execution against the ruling, pending the determination of the substantive appeal.