PDM in crisis over petition against Buhari’s election
National secretary opposes chairman’s plan to withdraw from suit
THERE was row yesterday in the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) over the petition filed by its presidential candidate, Pastor Aminchi Habu, against the February 23 election.
The suit is seeking nullification of the poll that produced President Muhammadu Buhari as winner for the alleged wrongful exclusion of PDM.
However, four months into the suit, the National Chairman of the party, Chief Frank Igwebuike, brought a motion on notice to the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, seeking withdrawal of the party from the petition filed by the presidential candidate.
Igwebuike, in the motion dated July 9 and tendered by his counsel, Morrison Onunu, said he was withdrawing the party from the petition in the overall interest of the party and the nation.
He claimed that PDM as the second petitioner resolved and decided to forgo whatever cause of action that necessitated the filing of the petition and that there is no need to continue.
Igwebuike further held in his motion that PDM did not reach any agreement or compromise with any of the defendants before seeking to poll out from the petition.
According to him, the withdrawal move is voluntary and without any influence.
But in a counter motion, the National Secretary of the party, Abubakar Abdullahi Gwada, dismissed the move to withdraw the party from the petition of its presidential candidate.
In the 18-paragraph counter-affidavit he deposed to, Gwada asserted that the national chairman is acting alone.
He claimed that the National Executive Committee and the National Working Committee of the party had not met to take any decision relating to the withdrawal of the party from the petition.
According to him, Igwebuike’s move does not have the backing of the party and that the petition is a joint one filed with the consent of the party and financed solely .
The tribunal chairman, Justice Mohammed Garba, noted that although pre-hearing in the PDM petition was slated for yesterday, it has to be cancelled because it has been scuttled by the fresh application.
He, therefore, adjourned hearing in the motion till July 18.
Also, hearing in the petition filed by Hope Democratic Party (HDP) and its presidential candidate, Chief Ambrose Albert Owuru, has been slated for July 18, 2019.
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