Connect with us


‘PDP has right to sanction Wike but must follow its constitution,’ Court rules



Justice James Omotoso of the Federal High Court, Abuja, said on Wednesday the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has the right to sanction the former Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, for alleged anti-party activities.

The judge, who stated this while ruling on a suit filed by the ex-governor, however, said the party must follow its constitution before taking such a decision.

Wike had shortly before the last general election approached the court to restrain the PDP from suspending or expelling him for anti-party activities.

The former governor and four others boycotted the party’s preparations for the February 25 presidential election over the refusal of the then national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, to step down from the position.

The PDP, its National Working Committee (NWC) and National Executive Committee (NEC), Ayu, the National Secretary of PDP, Samuel Anyanwu, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were listed as respondents in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/139/2023 field by Wike’s lawyer, Joshua Musa (SAN), on February 2.

In the suit, the ex-governor urged the court to grant an order directing all parties to maintain the status quo and stay all actions in the matter relating to the threat to suspend or expel him by the respondents pending the hearing and determination of the originating motion.

He also asked the court to enforce his fundamental right to freedom of association which was allegedly about to be breached by the respondents.

But the PDP in a motion filed through its lawyer, Johnson Usman (SAN), disagreed with Wike’s submission.

Usman argued that the case was only based on speculation as the ex-governor had failed to provide any evidence to substantiate that the respondents planned to suspend or expel him from the party.

He said the party had not contemplated suspending or expelling members of the G5 despite engaging in anti-party activities.

The lawyer stressed that Wike and four other governors engaged in anti-party activities by forming the Integrity Group and campaigning for another presidential candidate ahead of the election.

He insisted that a member who voluntarily joined an association must abide by its rules.

In his ruling, Justice Omotosho said the court had considered the processes filed by parties and arguments of counsel.

He held that suspending or expelling the applicant without affording him the right to defend himself would breach his fundamental rights as enshrined in the party’s and Nigeria’s constitutions.

He said though the party had the right to suspend or expel its members, this must be done in compliance with its own law.

According to him, fundamental human rights are rights enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution and are sacrosanct.

The judge said: “Where this right ought to be enforced, the court will do everything within its reach to ensure this.

“However, as fundamental and sacrosanct these rights are, they are not absolute.”

He, therefore, insisted that any member of a political party who appeared before a disciplinary committee should be given the opportunity to defend himself.

“And if not, any decision taken shall be null and void.

“This court is convinced that the applicant is entitled to a fair hearing and that the respondent also has the right to discipline its members in accordance with the law,” he declared.

Join the conversation


Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism

Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.

As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.

If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.

Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.

Donate Now