The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has gone to the Court of Appeal Abuja Division to challenge the order of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja which had ordered it to maintain status Quo Ante Bellum and revert to the use of the Statutory Delegates list which it had submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as it relates to the Akwa-Ibom State chapter of the party.
It would be recalled that a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had on May 18th,2022 ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to stay all actions concerning the conduct of ward congresses for the purpose of electing statutory delegates to vote at the party’s forth coming Gubernatorial, National Assembly and State Assembly in Akwa-Ibom State.
The Court presided over by Justice Obiora Egwuatu by the order compelled the PDP and INEC to use the list of the statutory delegates list which the party’s National Working Committee of the party had submitted submitted to INEC.
The judge made the order after listening to Counsel to the plaintiffs Ahmed Raji,SAN.
Justice Egwuatu in granting the order for Status quo ante Bellum to be maintained pending the hearing and determination of the suit also granted an order for an accelerated hearing of the suit and adjourned further hearing of the matter to May 25th,2022.
However, dissatisfied with the order the PDP through its Counsel Paul Usoro, SAN filled an appeal challenging the decision on the grounds that the court by directing the parties to maintain status quo ante bellium pending the hearing and determination of the suit the trial court was directly making an order that impacts on and prevents the holding of the appellant’s congresses for the nomination of the candidates for the various elective offices for the 2023 general elections.
The PDP also contended that by the said pronouncement the trial court was attempting to roll back and keep in abeyance the ad-how delegates’ elections that produced the newly joined 329 defendants who were joined in the suit during the proceedings of the 18th of May,2022.
The party executive committees at all levels for the forthcoming state PDP primaries including the Governorship primary election slated for Monday the 23rd day May,2022 may not hold.
The plaintiffs had gone to the court asking it determine the following questions;
Whether the outcome of the undisputed result of the PDP party’s congress and or convention duly conducted in compliance with and/or on the strength of the combined provisions of Section 223(1)(a) and (b) paragraph 15(b) and (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) Section 85(3) of the defunct Electoral Act 2010(as amended) now impair material with Section 82(3) of the Electoral Act 2022, Sections 2,15(2)(d) & (e), 18(2)(a)(c) and 25)2)(b) of the Constitution of the PFP (as amended in 2017) and Articles 1.2(b), 2.6(ii), 3.6(b), 4.0, 5.5(iv), 9.0(I) and Article 10.0(a,b,c) of the PDP guidelines for the conduct of Ward, LGA, State, Zonal Congresses and the National Convention for the purpose of electing Party Executive Committees at all Levels for Akwa-Ibom State Chapter in 2020 which was duly submitted to INEC by the NWC of the PDP in the year 2020 can be jettisoned, voided and or abandoned in the conduct of the PDP primaries for all elective positions of Akwa-Ibom State without any reason.
The plaintiffs further averred that if the answer to the above question is in the negative; whether the PDP is not bound to use the certified true copy of the undisputed list of Statutory Delegates duly submitted to INEC by the party’s NWC for Akwa-Ibom Chapter.