A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama has dismissed three applications filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and two others seeking to stay the court’s June 9 judgment sacking the party’s Executive Council (EXCO) in Anambra State
Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, in a ruling on Wednesday, held that the three applicants – the PDP, Chief Ndubisi Nwobu and Barr. Uchenna Obiora – failed to make out a case to warrant the grant of their application that sought to stay the judgment pending the determination of the appeal.
Justice Adeniyi, who came. down hard on the applicants for earlier denigrating the court in their reaction to the judgment, held that they did not show that the non-staying of the judgment would either render their appeals nugatory or make it impossible for the party to conduct its primary for the forthcoming governorship election.
The judge voided all the activities engaged in by the party since June 9 when the judgment was delivered, including the elections it conducted on June 10 and 11 to elect a three-man ad-hoc ward delegate that would participate in the voting at the primary of the PDP scheduled for June 26, 2021.
Justice Adeniyi said the statement made on June 9, by the State Publicity Secretary of the PDP Anambra in which he disparaged the court and its judgment was an affront to the court, adding that they do not expect a court they have insulted to grant them an indulgence.
He said: “The first applicant (the PDP), which is the principal party has maintained in the face of this court that its judgment is null and void for want of jurisdiction. The same party cannot at the same time seek equitable reliefs from the same court.
“A party that has no regard for the judgment of a court and described it in derogatory terms to the whole world, as shown in Exhibit C, cannot quietly return to the same court to seek equitable relief to stay the same judgment that it defied and defiled.
“An assessment of the totality of the circumstances that have been presented before me by the instant applications leads to only one conclusion, which is that the applicants do not have an iota of respect for the authority of this court, they issued a release to embolden their members not to reckon with the judgment of the court and followed it up by taking of definite contemptuous steps in disregard of the court’s judgment.
“For them to come back with a motion for stay of execution and injunction pending the determination of their appeal, in my view, is a clear afterthought. I there say that no court worth its authority will grant any such application, no matter how well presented and argued,” Justice Adeniyi said.
The remarks of the Honourable Judge highlights the worrisome acts of impunity the PDP engages in, without considering the very adverse effects they have, not only on public perception of the party but on intra party cohesion. Elevation of selfish interests above party interests have led the party into continuous abuse and denigration of Court processes and procedures.
This affront on law and legality has grave consequences and it is disturbing, that the party seems unmindful of the enormous goodwill it continues to squander because of its persistent resort to impunity. As different Courts take judicial notice of the party’s penchant for abuse, neglect and denigration of Court orders, the public, especially voters in Anambra State, are fast losing faith in a political party, that destroys itself and wastes its electoral chances every election year. There should be an end to litigation at some points but with the PDP, litigation is endless, especially the one that dissipates the party’s energy and leaves it a crying baby every election.
The June 9 judgment, which they sought to stay was on a suit marked: HC/CV/774/2021 filed by Samuel Anyakolah (for himself and all local government chairmen and ward executives that emerged from the Anambra PDP congress conducted on November 28 and December 1, 2017 under the supervision of Sir Chukwudi Umeaba, as Acting Chairman State Caretaker Committee).
The judge agreed with the plaintiff/claimant that the PDP violated its constitution in the conduct of the Southeast zonal congress of March March 6, 2021 and the appointments made therein.
He declared among others, that “all congresses, designations or appointments made by the first defendant (the PDP), with respect to the positions of the state chairman, EXCO members and local government chairmen, as contained in pages 14,15 and 16 of the Southeast zonal congress brochure of 6th March 2021 are hereby nullified and set aside.”
The judge ordered the PDP to henceforth, recognise and adopt only the list of the already inaugurated party officers and delegates that emerged from the Anambra PDP congresses conducted on November 28, 2017 and December 1, 2017 validated by Senator Grace Bent Ward Congress Appeal Panel report and Barrister Ukpai Ukairo Local Government Appeal Panel report, under the supervision of Sir Chukwudi Umeaba, who shall continue to act in the capacities for which they were duly elected.