Wike kicks as A’Court grants national PDP’s request to stop Rivers suits against other parties
• It’s anti-party, I’ll fire back, governor threatens
Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, has granted a request by the national leadership of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to debrief counsel representing the party from Okala’s Associate chambers from all cases pending at the appellate court.
The request to stop the suits was read by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Johnson Usman, from a letter by the national leadership of the party asking the Appeal Court to debrief all counsels representing their party in the cases before the court.
The state PDP had appealed the judgment of the lower court against them, which bordered on non-compliance with the amended Electoral Act, 2022 by other parties in the state.
When the appeal filed by PDP against the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), Accord and its governorship candidate, Dumo Lulu-Briggs, and his deputy came up, one of the counsel representing PDP from Okala’s Associates Chambers, Dike Udenna, requested and applied that the court should debrief them since the appellant in the case asked them to hands off the case.
Udenna also requested and appealed that they should be debriefed in an appeal filed by PDP against INEC, All Progressives Congress (APC) and its National Assembly candidates.
Other counsel in the case did not oppose the request and the new legal representation from PDP, Johnson Usman, requested that the court gives him time to study the cases.
The lead presiding Judge, Justice Joseph Shangbai, granted the request to debrief state PDP counsel and adjourned till February 3, 2023 for hearing.
REACTING, however, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, said it was an anti-party action for the national leadership of the party (PDP) to instruct lawyers handling legal suits on behalf of the PDP in the state to dissociate themselves from the cases.
A statement, yesterday, by Special Assistant to the governor, Mr. Kelvin Ebiri, said the PDP in the state had taken some political parties in the state to court over noncompliance with regulations and laws of INEC in the conduct of their various primaries.
The statement disclosed that Wike flayed the national leadership of the party, when he spoke at State School Premises, Okehi 1, venue of the Rivers State PDP campaign flag-off in Etche Council.
Wike said instead of the PDP national leadership to support the suits by the PDP in Rivers, it has asked lawyers handling the various legal matters to withdraw legal representations.
The Rivers State governor stated that anti-party activities would beget anti-party actions and since the PDP national has started the anti-party game, it will get anti-party action in return.
He said: “The people in Abuja that say they are national have gone to collude with them (opposition parties) to write our lawyers a letter that they should take their hands off, to kill the cases we filed. I have told our lawyers to withdraw from the matters. I will hit them back by tomorrow.
“Nobody hurts us without sustaining a scar. Anybody who dares to touch us in Rivers State, I will inflict many scars on him and we have started it. We are voting for our people here. Now you have told us you are doing anti-party. We will show you what anti party is. Already, we have caught them red-handed.”