National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus and some members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) yesterday appeared before the Lagos State High Court, Igbosere to stop committal proceedings against them.
Justice Taofikat Oyekan-Abdullahi had on December 5, 2019 ordered the Prince Secondus, and a member of NWC of the party, Senator Ben Obi to show cause why an order for committal should not be made against them.
The judge said that Secondus and Sen Obi should come and explained why they should not be committed to prison for defiling it’s order.
The verdict was as a result of alleged disobedience to the court:s order of November 12, 2019 which restrained the contemnors (Secondus and the party’s NWC) from conducting a special election for the vacant offices at the Lagos State State chapter of the party.
Then, while ordering the contemnors to show cause for defiling it’s order, Justice Oyekan-Abdullahi expressed dismay that PDP in Lagos State proceeded to conduct the aforesaid special election despite the knowledge of the case and pending application for interlocutory injunction.
The special election committee was chaired by Senator Obi at the instance of Secondus. On Monday, Francis Akinlotan appeared for all the claimants as counsel, Emmanuel Enoidem and Wendy Kuku appeared for the respondents.
The four claimants in the suit are Dr. Adegbola Dominic, for state Chairman of the party, Elder John Babatunde Agbaje, Alhaji Fatai Ajisefinni and Chief Taiwo Kuye.
The respondents are PDP, Senator Obi, Senator Biodun Olujimi, Hon. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, Hon. Danladi Baidu Tijo, Jon. Ahmed M. Mukthar and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Akinlotan who appeared for the claimants informed the court of his clients’ pending applications seeking for extension of time to file their written addresses and also to reply the preliminary objection filed by the respondents. , added he was ready to move the applications if court granted him leave.
The judge asked Enoidem who appeared for 1-6 respondents and Kuku who appeared for INEC which is the 7th respondents whether they have objection but the respondents said they didn’t and the court granted leave to move the applications and it was granted as prayed.
The claimants’ lawyer also informed the court that the contemnors on Friday evening served him an affidavit on their response to contempt proceedings filed against them but he was yet to reply to it and he still has time to reply.
He therefore urged the court to hear the substantive suit but the 1-6 respondents’ counsel objected, saying that until all the pending applications which included comtempt proceedings, the preliminary objection and other, the substantive suit could not be heard.
After several arguments on which application to hear first, the judge ruled in favor of the respondents and fixed March 12, to hear the contempt proceedings against the contemnors.