2nd December, 2014
Moves by immediate past national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, to return as the party’s boss suffered a setback as a federal high court in Abuja on Tuesday, dismissed a suit instituted by Mr. Aliyu Gubrin, challenging Tukur’s resignation and the appointment of Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu as the national chairman of the party.
He had asked the court to restrain Mu’azu from acting as the chairman of the party and to halt the planned national convention of the party scheduled for 10th and 11th of December, 2014 where the party is expected to adopt President Goodluck Jonathan as its sole candidate for next year’s presidential election.
He further asked the court to rule that Tukur’s resignation is invalid for non compliance with the constitution of the party and the Electoral Act 2010 and to make an order setting aside Tukur’s resignation as the party’s national chairman.
However, the court presided over by Justice Evoh Stephen Chukwu, held that Mr. Gubrin had no locus standi to institute the action, noting that he had not suffered any specific injury over and above all other members of the party.
Furthermore, the court held that Mr. Gubrin’s claims that the appointment of Mu’azu as the national chairman of the party was in breach of section 47(5) of the party’s constitution and had affected the realization of his political aspirations, were speculative, self inflicted and imaginary as nobody in the party had stopped him in his bid to contest the House of Representatives election on the party’s platform.
Furthermore, the court held that Mr. Gubrin’s postulations on the protection of the party’s constitution is of no effect as the National Working Committee of the party had complied with section 47(6) of the party’s constitution by appointing Mu’azu from the same geopolitical zone as Tukur following the latter’s resignation which, according to the court, makes the complaints of Mr. Gubrin of no issue.
The national leadership of the party had protested against the suit and had asked the court to dismiss it, insisting the issue was an internal affair of the party which is not justiceable. Mu’azu had also protested that Mr. Gubrin failed to exhaust all internal mechanisms within the party before approaching the court contrary to the provisions of section 61 of the party’s constitution.
Following the party’s notice of preliminary objection challenging Mr. Gubrin’s locus standi, Tukur chose to come out in the open and trade tackles with his successor.
He personally applied to the court to be joined in the suit as a co-defendant and counter claimant in a calculated move to benefit from the suit even if the court holds that Aliyu Ayuba Jibrin does not have locus standi to institute the action.
The court came down hard on Tukur for his counter claims against the PDP, Mu’azu and the Independent National Election Commission, INEC, who are co-defendants alongside Tukur in the suit.
The judge observed that Tukur’s conduct in filing a counter ckaim against the other defendants was strange and unknown to the law practice as he is seeking same reliefs as the plaintiff even though he is a defendant and thereafter dismissed the suit in its entirety and awarded the cost of N100,000 each in favour PDP, Mu’azu and INEC against Mr. Gubrin.