PDP Takes On Court Ordering Injunction Against Removing Acting National Chairman

The Peoples Democratic Party has filed a counter to the Federal High Court in Abuja’s order preventing it from removing its acting National Chairman, Umar Damagum.

Previously serving as the PDP National Deputy Chairman (North), Damagum became the acting National Chairman after the court suspended the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.

There have been multiple unsuccessful attempts by party members to oust Damagum and appoint a substantive National Chairman from the North Central region.

The most recent attempt to remove him was during the 98th National Executive Committee meeting of the PDP in April.

Weeks after the NEC, the Federal High Court in Abuja issued an order restraining the PDP from removing its acting National Chairman.

In a ruling on May 3, which was publicised on May 8, the court barred the respondents from appointing, selecting, or nominating anyone to replace Damagum until the motion on notice is heard and decided.

The restraining order granted by Justice Peter Lifu was issued in response to a suit filed by Senator Umar Maina and Alhaji Zanna Gaddama in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/579/2024.

The PDP National Legal Adviser, Kamaldeen Ajibade (SAN), revealed in an interview with The PUNCH that the party had filed a counter process.

Ajibade said the party is requesting the court to dismiss the case, arguing that it is an internal affair.

He added that the matter is scheduled for a hearing on July 1.

He stated, “We don’t need to appeal because the case has not been decided. What they obtained is an interim injunction, but the case will be heard based on its merit on July 1st.

“The party has filed its counter. The major point in the party’s counter is that we urge the court to dismiss the case because it is an internal affair of the party.”

A high-ranking member of the PDP National Working Committee, who wished to remain anonymous as he is not authorised to speak on the matter, stated that Damagum would continue to serve as acting chairman if the North Central Caucus fails to convene.

He remarked that replacing Damagum was the least of the PDP’s concerns, emphasising that there would be no leadership vacuum at that level within the party.

We are already in court challenging the order that restrained the party from removing Damagum because it is the right thing to do. We should be able to deliberate on our party issues without hindrance. The matter is already in court.

“The issue of the National Chairman is not the party’s problem; it is a problem for the North Central region. Has the North Central convened and agreed on anyone to replace Ayu? If they don’t, Damagum will continue to act. Or is it the NWC that will produce a replacement?

“Recall that the 98th NEC stated there should be further consultation in the North Central region in the bid to replace Ayu. To my knowledge, there has not been any consultation so far.

“When they consult, they will need to agree and then brief all the organs before coming to the NEC. If they don’t do all these, Damagum will continue in his acting capacity because there cannot be a vacuum at that level of the party leadership. The party leadership did not remove Ayu; his ward in Benue State and North Central did.”

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