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Court stops PDP from taking action against Gov Wike until after presidential election



As the presidential election draws closer, Justice James Omotosho of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, extended the order stopping the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from suspending or expelling Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers from the party.

This followed an agreement between the counsel to the governor, Joshua Musa (SAN) and lawyer to the PDP and others, Johnson Usman, (SAN) that the case should be argued on March 6.

The March 6 date is well after the presidential election slated for February 25.

There had been speculations the party may have planned to place sanctions on Wike and his G5 colleagues for anti-party activities, given their refusal to have anything to do with the presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar, or join his campaign train.

Justice Omotosho had earlier this month given a restraining order to the party and others identified in Wike’s motion dated February 2 2020.

Read also:Wike denies sending assassins after Sekibo, burning PDP presidential rally venue

Others joined in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/139/2023 include its National Working Committee (NWC) and National Executive Committee (NEC), National Chairman of PDP, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu; National Secretary of PDP, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as 1st to 6th respondents respectively.

The governor was seeking an order directing all parties to maintain status quo and staying all actions in the matter relating to the threat to expel him by the 1st to 5th respondents pending the determination of the originating motion.

Wike also sought an order of the court granting him leave to serve the motion on notice, including all other processes of the court in the suit on the 1st to 5th respondents by substituted means, by pasting all the said processes at the PDP National Secretariat.

Justice Omotosho granted all the reliefs sought after hearing Wike’s lawyer.

He said: “All parties in this suit shall maintain peace and shall not take any action or step or act that may make the outcome of the motion on notice dated and filed on 2nd February, 2023 nugatory and worthless.

“That any act or step or action made so as to make the outcome of the motion on notice dated and filed on 2nd February, 2023 nugatory shall be a nullity.

“That leave is hereby granted to the applicant (Wike) to serve the originating motion, motion on notice and all other processes of this court in this suit on the 1st to 5th respondents by substituted means to wit, by pasting all the said processes of court on PDP National Secretariat, Wadata Plaza, Wuse Zone 5, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.”

Wike is in the forefront of the G5 team demanding the resignation of the ex-minister of education, Iyorchia Ayu, as the PDP national chairman.

Other members of the group are Governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu).

They had stayed away from all the presidential campaign activities of the party, insisting on fairness, equity and justice.

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