The Peoples Democratic Party has yet to file a response to the appeal filed by its suspended Chairman, Uche Secondus, before the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, The PUNCH has learnt.
At the last hearing on Tuesday, the PDP lawyers asked for time to respond to the appeal filed by Secondus, but the court refused to grant their request, stating that the suit was time-bound in view of the national convention of the party, which is scheduled to hold on Saturday and Sunday.
The court subsequently gave the opposition party 24 hours to file its response.
We’ve received no response to our suit, says Oyetibo, ruling holds today
Speaking to The PUNCH on Wednesday, Secondus’ lawyer, Mr Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), said he had received no response from the PDP.
“The matter will come up as planned. I understand that the PDP has till 12pm on Thursday (today) to file a response. To the best of my knowledge, nothing has been filed and we have not been served,” Oyetibo said.
On August 23, 2021, some interested members of the party instituted a suit marked PHC/2183/CS/2021 at the High Court of Rivers State, Port Harcourt Judicial Division, with Secondus and the PDP as defendants.
On September 10, 2021, the court delivered its judgment and restrained Secondus from performing the functions of the office of the national chairman of the PDP.
The suspended chairman subsequently filed an appeal before the Court of Appeal and sought an order of injunction restraining the PDP and its officers and representatives from holding or conducting its national convention scheduled for October 30 and 31, 2021, or any other date, pending the hearing and final determination of the appeal.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that efforts were still being made by the party to prevail on Secondus to withdraw the case.
Multiple sources within the PDP told The PUNCH that several chieftains of the party had already begun arriving in Abuja ahead of the convention and it would be unfair to have the event cancelled.
“We are still pleading with Secondus. It is not too late for him to do the right thing and withdraw the case from court. We are all ready to sheathe our swords. He will become an outcast within the party if he continues on this path,” a member of the Board of Trustees said.
Don’t make our party ungovernable, BoT chair appeals to Secondus
In a related development, the Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Walid Jibril, on Wednesday, asked Secondus not to make the party ungovernable.
Jibril, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme, said the decision of the party was supreme, and as such, the national convention would hold on the appointed dates.
He said it would be wrong for Secondus, being a founding member of the PDP, to make the party ungovernable.
The BoT chairman added, “Secondus is a member of the BoT; he attained the position of the national chairman of this party. He has seen many things and helped to build the party.
“I don’t see why Secondus should go to this extent or try to ensure that the party goes a different way completely. Secondus should have taken whatever happened simply, being a founding member of the party. He should play the role he has been playing.”
Reacting to the claim that governors wield a huge influence in the zoning of the party’s presidential ticket, Jibril said the PDP had structures.
He added that the governors had the right to make recommendations, but the decision on zoning rested on the National Executive Council of the party.
Jibril insisted that the convention would hold on Saturday and Sunday.