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BREAKING: Court Sacks PDP Chairman (Details)

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BREAKING: Court Sacks PDP Chairman (Details)

BREAKING: Court Sacks PDP Chairman (Details)

The Abuja division of the Federal High Court has held that Mr Tochukwu Okorie was not validly nominated to contest election for the position of Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi.

Meanwhile, upon the judgment of the court, the plaintiff, Silas Onu was sworn-in at the premises of the Federal High Court, as the Chairman of the PDP in Ebonyi state.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed who delivered judgment in the suit filed by Mr Silas Onu, challenging the election of Okorie, held that Okorie was indolent in submitting his nomination form and could not be allowed to benefit from his wrong doing.

According to the judge, it is finding of this court that the 2nd defendant (Okorie) who submitted his nomination form on October 4, 2021 instead of October 1, 2021 contrary to the guidelines of the PDD for the conduct of congresses, and therefore not validly nominated.

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The judge said he was therefore not qualified to contest in the said election of October 16, 2021.

“It is the opinion of this court that the 2nd defendant (Okorie), who was indolent in submitting his nomination form as provided in the guidelines issued by the PDP, who in spite of this failure, was still declared and returned elected, cannot be allowed to benefit from his wrong doing.”

Justice Mohammed consequently directed the PDP to hold that only Onu was lawfully mominated to participate in the election of Oct. 16, 2021 and to issue him a certificate of return declaring him as the duly elected Chairman of PDP, Ebonyi Chapter.

The judge also granted the prayer asking for a declaration that Okorie was not qualified to participate in the election organized and held by the PDP on October 16, 2021 for failing and refusing to submit his nominanon form on or before the fixed deadline of Oct 1, 2021.

He also granted the prayer asking for a declaration that the 2nd defendant’s participation in the said election was contrary to the clear and unambiguous schedule for the conduct of state congresses, therefore rendering such participation null and void.

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The judge had earlier, dismissed the preliminary objection filed by the PDP where it alleged that Onu did not exhaust the internal mechanisms available for resolving such party matters before heading to court.
The objection had further challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit on the ground that the subject matter is an internal affairs of the party.

He cited a litany of Court of Appeal and Supreme Court decisions to support his decision dismissing the preliminary objection including the fact that the grounds of the plaintiff’s case is alleged violation of the guidelines of the PDP for the nomination of candidates for elective positions.

“Iam fortified by those decisions to assume jurisdiction to hear the suit. This suit is justiciable and the preliminary objection has failed and is hereby dismissed, ” Justice Mohammed held.

The judge also said that the application failed because the PDP was silent on when Okorie submitted his nomination form.

He said that he found the defendant’s failure to deny the allegation of the plaintiff that Okorie submitted his nomination form on October 4 instead of October 1, 2021 as admittance of wrong doing.

“The consequence is that the 2nd defendant’s nomination form submitted on October 4, 2021 instead of October 1, 2021 was submitted out of time.”

The Ebonyi chapter of the PDP, on October 16, 2021 elected Okorie as the new chairman of the party in the state.
Okorie polled a total of 1,240 votes to defeat Onu, the former state publicity secretary of the party who scored 260 votes.

Dissatisfied with the process which led to the emergence of Okorie as chairman of the party in the state, Onu filed a suit challenging the process and listed the PDP and Okorie as defendants.

One of the questions he posed before the court for determination was whether, upon the failure of Okorie to meet up with the deadline fixed by the PDP for the submission of the nomination form, Okorie was qualified to contest the election.

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