The battle to ease out the national chairman of Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as well as de-register the party by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) gained momentum on Tuesday as a group known as PDP Stakeholders’ Forum, has gone to court to seek redress.
Speaking in Abuja yesterday, the group led by Barrister Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, said it approached the Federal High Court in Abuja to seek the removal of Tukur as the national chairman because he was not properly re-admitted into the party following his expulsion in 2001 as well as the de-registration of the party for allegedly using a forged constitution in the conduct of its recently held mini-convention.
According to him, “the PDP Stakeholders’ Forum had watched and, on several occasions, raised the alarm on the speedy descent of our great party towards implosion, occasioned by mind-boggling lawlessness and total disrespect for tenets that foster democracy.
“The rules of engagement have been ganged, the structures of internal democracy set up over the years have gradually but ruthlessly been dismantled, due process has become an alien philosophy, as our party is currently being run like a military garrison, while impunity and political rascality have taken centre stage.
“Our great party has gradually evolved into a shackled ‘social club’, where the majority may always have their say, but a negligible minority always have their ways.”
Ugochinyere maintained that last Saturday’s special national convention was not conducted in line with the constitution of the party and the Electoral Act 2010 as amended; therefore, it should be revoked.
He also argued that the group sought Tukur’s removal as the national chairman of the party because he had failed to regularise his party membership after his expulsion over 12-years ago.
According to him, “Tukur did not apply for, nor obtain the requisite waiver by the NEC of the party before offering himself for election into the office of the national chairman of PDP in 2012,” adding that since Tukur had not been properly re-absorbed into the party, all action he had taken, including presiding over the last weekend’s special national convention “is null and void.”
The group added that “the legal effect of the foregoing is that with an utterly flawed and incurably defective membership, the nomination, subsequent election and continued stay in office of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as the chairman of the PDP is fraudulent, illegal and unconstitutional.”
On its move to seek the immediate de-registration of the party the group said, “PDP leaders doctored the 2012 amended constitution of the party, in breach of the provisions of the Electoral Act.
“The proof of these evidences can be seen in the approved memo by the PDP NEC, upon which the amendment was done in 2012. The original version of the PDP constitution filed with INEC will, as well, prove these violations.
“By the provisions of Section 78(7)1 of the Electoral Act, INEC was empowered to de-register any political party which breaches any of the requirements for registration as a political party.
“The penalty for violation of the provisions of the constitutional requirements for a political party existence is de-registration.
“So, we will ask the court to nullify the convention, as it was held with a fake document and, as well, de-register the party for violating the law”, Ugochinyere stated.