A Makurdi High Court, led by Chief Judge Justice Maurice Ikpambese, will announce its judgement on May 26, 2023, regarding the removal of Dr Iyorchia Ayu as the National chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Mr Conrad Utaan, a PDP member, filed the lawsuit against Dr Ayu after the Igyorov Ward Executive Committee suspended him following a vote of no confidence.
During the hearing, Dr Ayu’s lawyer, Yakubu Maikasuwa, objected to the court’s jurisdiction, claiming the issue was an internal party affair.
He also said the plaintiff didn’t use the party’s internal dispute resolution mechanism before going to court.
He also contended that “no wrong was done to the plaintiff, and there is no benefit or utilitarian value to be derived by the plaintiff from the suit.”
In response to the objection, counsel to Mr Utaan, Mr Emmanual Ukala, also a Senior Advocate, insisted that the matter was not an internal affair of a political party, saying that there was a judicial precedence which had resolved a similar issue.
He cited the judgement of a Rivers State High Court in the case between five members of the PDP vs Uche Secondus, and the position of the Court of Appeal in Oshiomhole vs Salihu in 2021 as well as the Supreme Court decision in Gana vs SDP in 2019.
Mr Ukala argued that “when it comes to interpretation of the constitution of a political party, the court is entitled to exercise its jurisdiction.”
On the position of Dr Ayu’s counsel that the dispute resolution mechanism of the PDP was not utilized by the plaintiff, Mr Ukala submitted that “the complaint is against Dr Ayu, and as at the time the suit was instituted, he was a sitting National Chairman of the PDP.”
After hearing both sides, Justice Ikpambese scheduled the judgement for May 26, 2023.