BEVERLY HILLS, CA, June 10, (THEWILL) – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been ordered to recognise the executive committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by Chief Obuah Amaechi Felix. The exco is the faction loyal to the Minister for Education Nyesom Wike.
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja gave the order Tuesday, the second victory for the Felix-led executive. An Abuja High Court had earlier declared the faction the properly constituted executive to manage PDP affairs in the state.
Presiding judge, Justice Stephen Chukwu, who gave the order also barred the PDP and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from accepting candidates for elections from any other group other than those produced by the current PDP leadership in the state.
The court therefore barred the National Secretariat of the PDP from holding or conducting any congress for the purpose of selecting or recognising new leaders until the expiration of the four-year tenure of the Obuah Felix-led leadership.
The order was subsequent upon a suit instituted by the PDP Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, Mr Chukwuemeka Aaron, against INEC, the PDP and Chief Obuah Amechi Felix.
In the same manner, Justice Chukwu also restrained INEC or any of its officers from monitoring or supervising any congress in Rivers State and from accepting list of candidates for elections except those provided by the current party leadership in the state.
The plaintiff had asked the court to enforce the judgment of the Abuja High Court of April 13, 2013 which upheld the congress that produced the leadership of Obua Amaechi Felix as PDP Executive Committee in Rivers.
The presiding judge held that the Abuja High Court verdict delivered by Justice Ishaq Bello subsisted and must be obeyed by all parties in the suit unless it was set aside by a higher court.
He agreed with Professor Tony Ijohor (SAN), counsel to the plaintiff, that the Abuja High Court judgment was binding since there was no order of stay of its execution by any court of competent record.
Justice Chukwu also agreed with the counsel that since all the averments of the plaintiff in his affidavit in support of the originating summon were not challenged by the defendants, they remained uncontroverted and strongly believed by the court and ordered that only documents emanating from the Felix Exco should be accepted as official and authentic by the INEC and PDP.
The judge had earlier dismissed five different applications brought by some PDP members in the state seeking to be joined in the suit. Justice Chukwu dismissed the motions for lacking in merit and for constituting gross abuse of court processes since the applicants failed to show how the outcome of the plaintiff suit would affect them.
The judge agreed with Chief Godwin Obia (SAN), counsel to the third defendant, that it was not enough to seek to be joined or be imposed on a litigant in a case except where vested interest have been established for court to protect.