Why PDP Should Suspend Planned Inauguration Of Silas Onu’s As Ebonyi State Chairman – Tochukwu Okorie Reveals

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Abuja – Mr. Nwokpoku Sunday Jude, PDP member and on behalf of Eight Hundred and Ninety Six (896) other aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi State, has called on the party to suspend the planned illegal inauguration of Silas Onu as the Chairman of Ebonyi State PDP pending the determination of the appeal already entered by the Court of Appeal Abuja Division in the interest of peace and cohesion of the party in the state.

The State Chairman of the party, Tochukwu Okafor made the call on Monday in a statement he signed and made available to newsmen in Abuja.

Tochukwu said the demand became necessary against the backdrop of the press statement dated 2nd May, signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Hon Debo Ologunagba to the effect that Silas Onu will be inaugurated tomorrow, 3rd May, 2022 as the state Chairman of the party.

In a petitioned submitted to the party Headquarters in Abuja on Monday (today), by the law firm Anwan Chambers & Co – Counsel representing Mr. Nwokpoku Sunday Jude and 896 other aggrieved members of the PDP, titled: URGENT NEED TO RESCUE PDP IN EBONYI STATE BY NOT INAUGURATING SILAS ONU AS THE CHAIRMAN OF EBONYI STATE PDP PENDING THE DETERMINATION OF THE APPEAL ALREADY ENTERED BY THE COURT OF APPEAL ABUJA DIVISION, AND DEMAND FOR IMMEDIATE SUSPENSION OF THE INAUGURATION OF SILAS ONU AS THE CHAIRMAN OF EBONYI STATE PDP WHICH IS SCHEDULED TO TAKE PLACE TOMORROW THE 3RD MAY, 2022, AS CONTAINED IN A STATEMENT SIGNED BY HON. DEBO OLOGUNAGBA, THE NATIONAL PUBLICITY SECRETARY OF PDP, reminded the party that Mr Okoroafor Tochukwu Okorie is still the authentic elected Chairman of PDP in Ebonyi State.

The petition reads in part:

Above subject matter referred……..
Sequel to an earlier instruction of our client Mr. Nwokpoku Sunday Jude, PDP member and on behalf of Eight Hundred and Ninety Six (896) other aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi State, we hereby reserve the pendulum and re-incontrovertibly state we healthily represent them all in all matters.

Pertaining to the immediate suspension of the inauguration of Silas Onu as the Ebonyi State PDP Chairman and it’s auxiliary Court injunction so to do vis-a-vis the pending Appeal at the Court of Appeal Abuja Division.

We are fully abreast of the Judgement of the Federal High Court Abuja delivered on the 13th April 2022 in suit No: FHC/Abj/is/1319/2021 wherein Mr Okoroafor Tochukwu Okorie who was duly elected by the party during it’s Congresses in 2021 was removed on the ground that he submitted his application form three (3) days after the deadline for the submission of the said form. This is technicalities taken too far by some sycophant/moles in the Ebonyi State PDP where aspirations in APC is very glaring and will do whatever it takes to use the instrument of litigation to scuttle the relative peace Ebonyi State PDP has enjoyed over the years.

see full details of the petition to the party:

THE NATIONAL WORKING COMMITTEE, (NWC)
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
Plot 1970 MichealOkpara Street,
Wadata Plaza,
Wuse Zone 5,
Abuja

ATTN:
NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL, (NEC)
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
Plot 1970 MichealOkpara Street,
Wadata Plaza,
Wuse Zone 5,
Abuja

SUBJECT: RE: URGENT NEED TO RESCUE PDP IN EBONYI STATE BY NOT INAUGURATING SILAS ONU AS THE CHAIRMAN OF EBONYI STATE PDP PENDING THE DETERMINATION OF THE APPEAL ALREADY ENTERED BY THE COURT OF APPEAL ABUJA DIVISION

DEMAND FOR THE IMMEDIATE SUSPENSION OF THE INAUGURATION OF SILAS ONU AS THE CHAIRMAN OF EBONYI STATE PDP WHICH IS SCHEDULED TO TAKE PLACE TOMORROW THE 3RD MAY, 2022 AS CONTAINED IN THE PRESS STATEMENT DATED 2ND MAY 2022 SIGNED BY HON. DEBO OLOGUNAGBA THE NATIONAL PUBLICITY SECETARY OF PDP.

Above subject matter referred……..

Sequel to an earlier instruction of our client Mr.Nwokpoku Sunday Jude,PDP member and on behalf of Eight Hundred and Ninety Six (896)other aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in EbonyiState, we hereby reserve the pendulum and re-incontrovertibly state that we healthily represent them in all matters-

Pertaining to the immediate suspension of the inauguration of Silas Onuas the Chairman of Ebonyi State PDP and its ancillary Court injunctions so to do vis-à-vis the pending Appeal at the Court of Appeal Abuja Division

We are fully abreast of the Judgment of Hon. Justice A. R. Muhammed of the Federal High Court Abuja delivered on the 13th April 2022 in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1319/2021 wherein Mr. OkoroaforTochukwuOkorie who was duly elected by the party during its congresses in 2021 was removed on the ground that he submitted his application form three (3) days after the deadline for the submission of the said form. This is technicalities taken too far by some sycophant/moles in the Ebonyi State PDP whose aspiration in APC is very glaring and will do whatever it takes to use the instrument of litigation to scuttle the relative peace Ebonyi State PDP has enjoyed over the years

It is instructive to query who is behind the said Silas Onu? Is he related to the former Governor of Ebonyi State (Engr. David Umahi), is he a plant a farmer is trying to plant in the farm of PDP to scuttle the chances of PDP in the coming election in Ebonyi State?

Sir, the People Democratic Party (PDP) has been one single party since the creation of Ebonyi State which every tom, dick and Jerry can attest to this fact which was breached by Engr. Dave Umahi whom the Federal High Court Abuja removed as the Executive Governor of Ebonyi State through the application of the party PDP.

Sir, you could recalled that the Judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja has not been obeyed even when the party (PDP) has forwarded His Excellency Rt. Hon. IdumaIgariwayname in obedience to the said judgment of the Federal High Court Abuja, but till date the inauguration of Rt. Hon. IdumaIgariwayhas not taken place, the reason INEC gave is that there is a pending Appeal at the Court of Appeal, Abuja. That’s the law as it stands till date, it has not changed.

However, the said judgment has been appealed and the Appealentered since 18th April 2022. Attached and marked annexure “AN-1” is the Notice of Appeal for your on spot reference please.

It is pertinent to set the record straight and for the avoidance of doubt. The facts of the matter are as follows:

That PDP conducted its congresses and elected ward, local government. State and national officers.

That PDP also elected statutory delegates who will elect flag bearers for the party in the 2023 General Elections through indirect primaries.

That there are two (2) electing bodies for delegates when it is indirect primaries; the statutory and 3-man delegates. The 3-man delegates are elected across the number of political wards in each State and is ad-hoc. See the provision of the PDP Constitution

In the case of Ebonyi State which the PDP Constitution made provisions by providing for (statutory and 3-man delegates) which should be invoke in this circumstance pending the determination of the Appeal over the State Chairmanship position to avoid repeat of Zamfara State APC saga.

It is to be noted that Mr. TochukwuOkafor was duly and validly elected by the party during its congresses in 2021 before a member of the same party who also contested and was rejected by the party members approached the Court to challenge the wish of the party members who has spoken through their vote by means of technicalitiesviz; that Mr. Tochukwu submitted his application form three (3) days after the deadline for the submission.

It is to be noted that the date set for deadline of the submission of the PDP Chairmanship application form was a public holiday (1st October National Day) which Mr. Tochukwu submitted his application on the next day being working day.

The said judgment has since been appealed by the PDP on the ground that the matter was an internal affairs of the party and that Silas Onu had not exhausted the internal mechanism for dispute settlement in the party before approaching the Court as encapsulated in the PDP constitution which is the supreme guide of all members of the party. The Court of Appeal has entered the Appeal and is yet to communicate the date of hearing the appeal to parties.

The law duly provides that ’nothingshould change during the pendency of an appeal.’This is subsumed in the Latinism lis pendent lite nihilinnovetur.
It is our respectful opinion that the far-reaching legal consequences that attends actions taken pendent lite are well known in Nigeria and well covered by case law. See the Supreme Court decision in Akinkugbe V. Ewulum Holdings Nigeria Limited (2008) 12 NWLR (Pt.1098) 375 at 383 holding 10

ALTERNATIVE TO INAUGURATION OF SILAS ONU IN VIEW OF THE PENDING APPEAL AT THE COURT OF APPEAL, ABUJA

LEGAL POSITION/PDP CONSTITUTION

In view of the position encapsulated in the PDP constitution as regards 3-man delegate congress/election which is usually authenticated by the state chairman of the party and since the position of chairman is in dispute and the Appeal having been entered, we suggest that to avert the repeat of Zamfara State 2019 experience the issue of 3-man delegates being part of the delegates election of the party flag bearers scheduled to hold from 7th May, 2022 be suspended

The delegates’ election can be conducted without 3-man delegates and it does not invalidate the result of the primary election. The statutory delegates serve for the primary where there is no 3-man delegate.

This is a precedent because it happened is Anambra State in the last governorship election and currently three states (Ebonyi) and other Two (2) states has been suspended by the party from conducting 3-man delegates congress.

However, the party (PDP) having short itself on the leg by suspending 3-man delegates is now been influenced through the backdoor by one moneybag masquerading in Ebonyi State to reinstate and conduct the congress before the primaries.

Suffice to put that failure to suspend the inauguration of Barr. Silas Onu will tantamount to an affront to the judiciary

Suffice to put that if the inauguration is allowed to take place tomorrow the 2nd May, 2022, the implication is that it will undermine the chances of PDP as this will create factions in the party since the case is still pending at the Court of Appeal Abuja Division.

Our clients remained loyal party faithful who will do whatever it takes legally to ensure justice for the members of PDP family in Ebonyi State and the big family (PDP) all over Nigeria

Against the backdrop of the above detailed information/guidance, we crave your respectful indulgence to stall or suspend the inauguration slated for tomorrow in line with the press release of 2nd May, 2022 attached herewith as Annexure “AN-2” in the overall interest of the party PDP
We urge the NWC and NEC to avert the unavoidable litigation which is loading in the overall interest of the party and the vision of reclaiming the lost states to PDP.

N/BCORAM; we trust you will agree with us that an injunction can be sought at any time and whatever inauguration carried out can be set aside which may put the party (PDP) in a very big risk of not producing a valid Governorship aspirant etc.

We hold ourselves out as fully representing our client Mr.Nwokpoku Sunday Jude,PDP member and on behalf of Eight Hundred and Ninety Six other aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi Stateand will not hesitate to invoke the wrath of the law if this timely demand is treated with no iota of respect.

We thank you for your kind courtesies and trust that you will be accordingly guided always

Yours Faithfully,

Chief O. U. Orji Esq.
Chief U. U. Umoanwan Esq.
(Notaries Public)
Benjamin C. Ogbamgba Esq.
Joseph E. Abutu Esq.

CC.
THE NATIONAL CHAIRMAN, PDP
THE NATIONAL PUBLICITY SECRETARY, PDP
CHIEF J. K. GADZAMA SAN
CHIEF MIKE NZEKHOME SAN
J.S. OKUTEPA SAN
S. T HONS SAN & CO.

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