An Appeal Court sitting in Port Harcourt on Friday struck out an application filed by the former National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus seeking the suspension of the party’s Convention billed for the 30th and 31st of October.
The court also directed the Party to go on with its planned National Convention.
The three-man appeal panel headed by Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani, in a unanimous decision on the application CA/PH/339/2021, held that Secondus’ application was only aimed at distracting the party from going on with the convention, stressing that the application lacks the locus standi.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole who read the court ruling on behalf of the other two judges said the application which he termed consequentially was filled on the 14th of October, saying that all arguments on the matter were taken on the 28th after some amendments.
Kolawole pointed out that the court listened to the counsels in the matter and made a review of the issues raised by the parties, noting that there was no legal right in suspending the decision of the lower court on the substantive matter.
He said Secondus had filed an application on two grounds which was seeking an Order of Injunction restraining the PDP from holding the Convention, pending the hearing and determination of his sacking, and an order directing parties to the appeal to maintain Status Quo Ante Bellum that was before the 22nd of August 2021, when he as the National Chairman of the party was removed, pending the hearing and determination of the appeal.
He regretted that since August the party took the decision of the convention and set up committees to man the event that he (Secondus) did not take any step only to come a few days to the convention to seek suspension.
Kolawole said on the issues of rights, that there was no personal right which the court can protect for the appellant applicant because the office he occupied as the chairman of the party was public.
He noted that Secondus had remained silent since he was sacked and his office taken without saying a word, adding that his late move was to take a shot at the national convention.
Kolawole said granting the prayers would cause inconveniences, arguing that greater justice would be done by refusing the application of the appellant to stop the convention or annulling the decision of the lower court.
“The appellant (Secondus) motion fails and is hereby dismissed. The sixth respondent (PDP) is empowered to hold its convention without hindrances,” he read.
Meanwhile, Henry Bello, lead Counsel in the Legal team of the 1st to 5th respondents in the appeal no. CA/PH/339/2021 between Prince Secondus Uche vs Alex, PDP, and others also said, “the Court of Appeal Port Harcourt Division has delivered a considered ruling where the court has dismissed the application of the appellant applicant, Prince Secondus Uche, to stop the National convention of the PDP.
“Rather the court has ordered the PDP to go ahead with its National convention unhindered. The national convention, therefore, has been authorized to go on. It is sufficient that the court has not found any merit in the application and it has been dismissed.”
Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), Counsel to Secondus, said the dismissal of his client’s application was not the end of it as the instructions of the appeal were still alive. “The court has directed that the PDP can continue with the national convention, however, the instruction is that the appeal continues and depending on the outcome of the appeal if it succeeds then it has the impact on whatever decision that is taken on the national convention, so it’s still not over,” said.
He said that there is still an appeal pending before the court waiting to be taken, saying, “it is the outcome of that would determine the validity or otherwise.”