A Federal High Court in Abuja has told former Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has the right to suspend or fire him as long as it is done in accordance with the law.
In his judgment on Wednesday, Justice James Omotosho said the suit, filed by Wike ahead of the 2023 general elections, seeks a court order to prevent the PDP from moving against him without a fair trial. Recall that the former governor sued the PDP, its National Works Council and the National Executive Council as the first to third defendants.
Joint mark in trial: FHC/ABJ/CS/139/2023, dated 2 February. 2 His lawyer, Joshua Musa, was joined by PDP National Chairman, Ijorki Aju; PDP National Secretary General, Senator Samuel Anyanwu and Independent National Electoral Commission are 4-6 respectively. the interviewees.
He had sought an order directing the parties to maintain the status quo and cease all actions related to the threat of suspension or dismissal against him by defendants 1 to 5 pending the hearing and decision of the original motion. He asked the court to enforce his fundamental right to freedom of association, which the accused allegedly violated.
However, the PDP, through its lawyer, Johnson Usman, SAN, disagreed with Wik’s claim, arguing that the case was based on mere conjecture as Wik did not present evidence that the accused intended to suspend or bar him from the party. Usman added that despite engaging in anti-party activities, the party is not considering suspending or sacking members of the Integrity Team (G5 governors).
He said Wick and four other governors engaged in anti-party activity on February 2, forming an integrity commission and campaigning for another presidential candidate. 25 choices.
The senior lawyer also said that members who join the association voluntarily must abide by its rules, arguing that the former governor must first exhaust the internal mechanisms of the party. He said the court had no jurisdiction to hear the case, noting that it was only in the context of the situation.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, he argued that it was not enough for Wik to sue for the enforcement of fundamental rights. Justice Omotosho also issued interim orders on February 2 against the party and others named in Wike’s ex parte motion.
The judge extended the ban on February 2.
it was held that all parties should maintain the status quo and await the court and the court’s decision.
Meanwhile, the President of the State, announcing the verdict on Wednesday, said that the court has considered the cases of the parties and the arguments of the lawyers. He argued that suspending or dismissing the applicant without giving him the right to defend himself would violate his fundamental rights enshrined in the party and the Nigerian constitution.
Omotosho added that while the party has the right to suspend or expel its members, it should be done in accordance with its laws. The judge said that while Section 46(1) of the Act gives the court jurisdiction over violation of a person’s rights, he said the court will not interfere in the internal affairs of any political party unless a member’s rights are violated and the party does so.
does not resort to his laws And violated.
According to him, fundamental human rights are enshrined in the Nigerian constitution and are sacred and inviolable. “If these rights are to be enforced, the courts will do everything in their power to enforce them.
“However, because these rights are fundamental and sacred, they are not absolute,” he said. Thus, Justice Omotosho agreed that any party member appearing before the disciplinary committee should be given an opportunity to defend himself.
“If not, any decision taken is null and void,” he said. “This court is satisfied that the complainant is entitled to a fair trial and that the respondent is entitled to discipline its members in accordance with law,” he said.
The judge also said that Wik has the right to join and that the threat to fire him without calling him to defend himself violates Article 57(1)(2) of the party.
He said that the national chairman of the party Dr. Iyorchia Ayu and his surrogates had a duty to promote constitutional democracy.