There is anxiety in the rank of the Peoples Democratic Party as the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, is set to hear the appeal filed by the suspended National Chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, today (Tuesday).
On August 23, 2021, some interested members of the party had instituted a suit marked PHC/2183/CS/2021 at the High Court of Rivers State, Port Harcourt Judicial Division, with Secondus and the PDP as defendants.
On September 10, 2021, the court delivered its judgment and restrained Secondus from performing the functions of the national chairman of the PDP.
The suspended chairman subsequently filed an appeal before the Court of Appeal seeking an order of injunction restraining the PDP, its officers and representatives from holding or conducting the national convention scheduled for October 30 and 31, 2021, or any other date pending the hearing and final determination of the appeal.
However, the PDP has continued to insist that its convention will hold as scheduled, while also negotiating with Secondus to drop the suit.
Secondus’ lawyer, Mr Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), said on Monday that the appeal would go on as scheduled.
Oyetibo said he had not received any instruction from Secondus to withdraw the case, adding that the PDP had also not filed a response to the appeal.
“As we speak, I have no instruction from Prince Secondus to drop the case. Also, the PDP has not filed any response to our appeal. The appeal will be heard on Tuesday (today),” the senior advocate said.
But the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the party’s plan to hold its national convention on October 30 and 31 was on course.
He told reporters in Abuja on Monday that the party was not in receipt of any court process barring it from going ahead with the scheduled activities.
In response to a question on a pending litigation before a Kaduna High Court seeking to stop the convention, Ologbondiyan said, “As far as the Peoples Democratic Party is concerned, the party does not work on speculations. There is no court judgment before the party.
“You cannot be talking about court issues; it is only when there is a judgment from the court that we will begin to talk about court issues as far as the party is concerned. All the plans have been set out for the national convention.”
Speaking on preparations for the national convention, he stated, “The preparation for the national convention is in place, and as far as the party is concerned, the dates for the convention remain October 30 and 31.
“I want to bring to the attention of my dear colleagues that the national convention organising committee’s leaders are in town, and these are the Chairman and the governor of Adamawa State, Mr Umaru Fintiri; the Deputy Chairman and governor of Bayelsa State, Diri Duoye; as well as the governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, who is the Secretary of the committee; the three of them are in Abuja to oversee the convention process.
“All the respective subcommittees are working. I am the secretary of the publicity subcommittee. All the committees are working; we have about 15 subcommittees for the purpose of the convention and they’re all working.”
Ologbondiyan denied reports of a disconnect between members of the committee and its leadership just as he said the National Working Committee of the party, of which he is a member, was doing its bit to ensure the smooth running of the PDP ahead of the convention.
He also denied that members of the NWC had abandoned their offices, stating, “That is totally and absolutely incorrect, and some of your colleagues went upstairs into the NWC hall to meet with members of the NWC, who took their respective seats and were deliberating on the success of the forthcoming national convention.”
The party spokesman said the venue for the convention had been secured and arrangements were in top gear to ensure a successful programme.