The days of politicians using the judiciary as a tool for political games seems to be back in Nigeria, as a High Court in Kebbi State restores Prince Uche Secondus as Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In an ex-parte motion, Justice Nusirat Umar gave an order granting Uche Secondus to continue exercising all constitutional powers of the office of Chairman of PDP as enriched in both the 1999 constitution of Nigeria as amended and the PDP’s constitution pending the hearing and determination of the applicant’s motion on notice.
Only on Monday, August 23, 2021, a Rivers State High Court, Degema Division presided over by Justice Okogbule Gbasam restrained the same man from parading himself as the Chairman of PDP. A copy of the court order which went viral online on Monday has the quartet of Ibeawuchi Alex, Dennis Amadi, Emmanuel Stephen, and Umezerike Onucha, as the plaintiffs. Mr Secondus and the PDP are the defendants sued in the suit marked PHC/2183/CS/2021.
But on Thursday, the Kebbi court gave an order of interim injunction staying the purported suspension of Uche Secondus pending the determination of the substantive motion on notice.
Giving the order in a suit brought before her in Birnin Kebbi, the state capital in case KB/AC/M. 170/2021, Justice Umar said she was satisfied after reading the affidavit of the respondents that an interim order should be granted on the purported suspension of Prince Secondus pending the determination of the case.
“An order of this Honourable court granting leave to the first respondent (Uche Secondus) to continue exercising all the constitutional powers of the office of Chairman of PDP (second defendant ) as enshrined in both 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended and the Peoples Democratic Party’s constitution pending the hearing and final determination of applicant’s motion on notice.”
Three concerned members of the party, Yahaya Usman, Abubakar Mohammed and Bashar Suleman are the claimants/Applicants in the case while Prince Secondus and the PDP are the defendants/Respondents.
Nigerians have reacted to the interim order shopping saying that it is not a good development for the judiciary. Ebun Olu-Adegboruwa prayed, saying “‘May the judiciary and the legal profession not become laughing stock!”
Samuel Myke Oluwasegun said: “Nigeria Judiciary is becoming a laughing stock! Democratic saboteurs, a weak wig wing! Injunction is now the cheapest commodity in our political market. Is the law confusing? Or the judiciary is the one confusing the law?. Well, what money cannot unsettle in Nigeria does not exist. I doubt if one day it won’t happen that one person will boldly remove the Honourable prefix from our Justices right in court”.
For Emmanuel Adebayo, ‘most of the problems we have in Nigeria today are caused by Lawyers and Judges”.
Also, Ajimati Ojo Babatunde said: “I don’t understand all this court order and counter court order, I’m not that learned but let me use my natural sense,I think we should abolish all this court drama, once a high court gave judgement on a case, no other high court should be allowed to hear such case again, appeal court should be the next option”.