A High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has affirmed the suspension of Uche Secondus as a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by his ward executives.
Justice Okogbule Gbasam affirmed this in a judgement delivered on Friday, on the originating summons filed by some PDP members in Rivers State seeking the interpretation of the constitution of the party, whether Secondus is entitled to enjoy the rights and privileges of a National Chairman, having been suspended by the executives of his party in Ward 5, Ikuru Town in Andoni Local Government Area who accused him of involvement in anti-party activities.
The claimants also sought clarification of the court on Secondus’ rights to contest elections into any of the party positions or re-contest as the National Chairman of the party following his suspension.
The prayers were, however, contested by Secondus during proceedings through his Lawyer, Geoffrey Uwalaka.
But in his judgment, Justice Gbasam ruled that the affidavit filed by Uwalaka, being the counsel to Secondus, only argued that Secondus can solely be suspended from his position as a National Chairman by the National Executive Committee, and such is not substantial enough to save the embattled Chairman, because the crux of the litigation is his suspension from the party and not as National Chairman.
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He clarified that Secondus lost his right as the National Chairman of the party as a consequence of his suspension from the PDP in his Ward because he cannot lead a party he no longer belongs to.
On the argugment raised by the lawyer to Uche Secondus, who is the first defense counsel that a court cannot meddle into internal affairs of a political party, Justice Gbasam noted that the issue before his court is predicated on the judicial interpretation of the PDP constitution concerning Secondus’ right following his suspension and not to decide who holds what position in the party.
Probing further into the constitutional provisions of the PDP, the judge ruled that Article 59 (3) of the PDP constitution as amended in 2017, be expunged because the section which stated that only the National Executive Committee of the party can discipline the National Chairman or any other national officer, is against the law of natural justice.
He went further to give an order of perpetual injunction against Uche Secondus from performing any action while on suspension as a member of the PDP.
With the conclusion of the case at the State High Court in Port Harcourt, lawyers to the claimants and the first defendant (being Secondus) say they are ready to slug it out at the appeal court.