Summons Atiku, Baraje, Oyinlola To Explain Roles In Crisis
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Decision Upholds My Chairmanship –Tukur
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday turned down a request by the Alhaji Bamanga Tukur-led faction of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for an interim order stopping the factional leader, Abubakar Baraje, from parading himself as the authentic national leader of the party or from operating or opening a parallel national, state, local government area and ward secretariat of the party. Former Solicitor-General of the Federation, Tochukwu Onwugbufor (SAN) tabled their request before the court.
The Tukur faction specifically asked the court to issue the order to bar the arrowhead of the Baraje faction, ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the Deputy National Chairman of the faction, Dr. Sam Jaja and the National Secretary of the faction, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola. All of them who were named as respondents in the case broke out from the ruling PDP to form a parallel political party called New PDP. The court also declined the request by Tukur faction to stop the Baraje led faction of the party from interfering and continued interference with the duties and functions of the newly elected executives of the party.
The trial High Court judge, Justice Elvis Chukwu, also refused, yesterday, a separate invitation by the Tukur led faction to bar the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising, endorsing or giving any legal imprimatur to the Baraje faction of the ruling PDP pending determination of the case submitted before the court on the party’s leadership crisis. Justice Chukwu who declined to issue the interim orders, yesterday, however ordered the Alhaji Tukur led faction to put the Baraje faction on notice to enable both parties in the leadership squabble to address him on the desirability of the order.
Said he: “Although I’m not afraid of granting an exparte order especially when it borders on issues capable of creating anarchy, I owe a duty to maintain a balance. “In the circumstance, what I want to do is to order that they be put on notice. “Both parties are to maintain status quo ante bellum pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice. “The time for hearing all the processes in this suit is to be abridged to four days.”
The court however granted an order directing that the originating summons and all other processes in the suit be served on the defendants by substituted means by pasting the processes on the entrance gate of their residences.
The service of the processes on the Baraje faction is to formally invite them to appear either in person or through counsel By implication, ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Baraje, Jaja are to appear either by self or counsel on the next adjourned date to explain why their faction must remain afloat. Tukur and his PDP had approached the court via a motion exparte brought pursuant to order 46 Rule 5 (2) and order 6 Rule 5 (c) wherein they urged the court to grant the above reliefs. But in a swift reaction over the decision of the court, Tukur in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday declared that the decision of the court in the suit was upholding the leadership of the party under his chairmanship.
Said he: “Following the injunction granted by Justice E. S Chukwu of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, upholding the leadership of our great party under my chairmanship, I wish to use this medium to congratulate and appreciate my fellow leaders and all members of our great party for your steadfastness and commitment to the ideals of the founding fathers of the PDP underscored by your unflinching loyalty to the constitution of the party.” “I am very pleased that you remained loyal in spite of the recent developments that have confronted our collective resolve to provide purposeful leadership for our party and dear country.
I wish to reassure you that these developments will in no way distract or affect our undiluted readiness and focus on delivering on all promises incumbent on the mandate vested willingly by you on us. “As the National Chairman of your party, I shall remain unflinchingly resolute on good leadership.”