Federal Court stops PDP convention

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A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday suspended the planned convention of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), slated for Aug. 17 in Port Harcourt.

Justice Okon Abang, who gave the interim order, said he did so in the interest of justice to both parties in a suit pending before him.

Abang also said the order was issued to curb the excesses of some parties in the matter as well as to serve as a disciplinary action against those treating the court with levity.

He said this was with particular reference to Senator Ben Obi, a member of the caretaker committee of the party.

Obi had obtained an order from a Federal High Court, Port Harcourt division, in which the Police, the DSS and the Director-General of DSS were restrained from interfering in the Port Harcourt convention.

The ex-parte order was issued by Justice Ibrahim Watila of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt division.

The ex-parte order  also directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to supervise and monitor the convention planned by the Sen. Ahmed Makarfi-led faction and the Board of Trustees of the party.

Justice Abang, whose attention was drawn to a copy of the ex-parte order obtained by Obi, said the action of Obi in filing the motion was in bad taste.

Obi was joined as a party in the suit before the judge.

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Abang held that Obi secretly went to Port Harcourt to obtain the said order when he knew that he was a party seeking to be joined in the suit filed by the Ali Modu-Sheriff faction seeking to stop the convention.

He also said a court of coordinate jurisdiction cannot make an order that will neutralise another court of coordinate jurisdiction.

“Obi cannot undermine the authority of this court; having become aware of the pendency of this matter, he ought to have waited for the outcome of this court.

“He cannot slap the court in the face and expect the court to grant him any indulgence. Democracy is not anchored on the whims and caprices of anybody; it is also not anchored on self-help; Obi cannot treat the court with levity.

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