Court affirms Ayu’s sack as PDP national chairman

Court affirms Ayu’s sack as PDP national chairman

A high court sitting in Makurdi, Benue state capital, has
affirmed the suspension and removal of Iyorchia Ayu as the national chairman of
the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Maurice Ikpambese, the presiding judge, also nullified Ayu’s
membership in the party.

BACKGROUND

In March, the executive members of Igyorov ward, Gboko LGA
of Benue, passed a vote of no confidence on Ayu over alleged anti-party
activities.

The LGA party executives also claimed that Ayu worked
against the success of the PDP in his ward during the elections.

They alleged that he was not paying his membership fees and
did not vote in the March 18 governorship and the house of assembly elections
in the state.

Subsequently, one Terhide Utaan, through his lawyer,
Emmanuel Ukala, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), filed an ex parte motion
marked MHC/633/2023 at the same high court and asked the court to restrain Ayu
from parading himself as the national chairman of the party, having been
suspended.

But Ayu through J.J Usman, his counsel, filed a preliminary
objection to the suit.

Ayu said the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear and
determine and that the plaintiff did not have the right to file the suit
because he did not exhaust the internal dispute resolution mechanism of the
party.

THE JUDGEMENT

Delivering judgement on Friday, Ikpambese, who is Benue’s
chief judge, dismissed Ayu’s objections to the suit.

Ikpambese said by virtue of article 8(9) of the PDP’s
constitution, Ayu ceased to be a member of the PDP due to his failure to pay
his membership fees.

He ruled that Ayu’s membership of the PDP elapsed with his
failure to pay his membership subscription fee.

The judge said article 46(1) of the PDP empowers the ward to
discipline a member of the party’s national executive committee (NEC).

Ayu had also argued that the ward lacked the power to
suspend a member of the NEC.

Ikpambese said Ayu failed to prove that he paid his
statutory membership fee asking him and did not also challenge his suspension
before any organ of the party or before any court.

The judge said Ayu left the court with the impression that
he has consented to his suspension by his ward executive committee.

 “The plaintiff has
proven his case. All the questions for determination have been resolved in
favour of the plaintiff. He is entitled to all the reliefs sought. I so order,”
the judge ruled.

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