Chairmanship Tussle: Court Reserves Judgment In Gulak’s Suit Against PDP, Secondus

PDPAn Abuja High Court on Monday reserved judgment in a case filed by Mr Ahmed Gulak seeking to compel the National Working Committee of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to fill its chairmanship position.

Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf reserved the judgment after conclusion of arguments by counsel to the parties in the suit.

The judge said the Registrar of the court will communicate the date he will deliver the judgment to the parties to the suit.

Gulak, former Political Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, sued the PDP over “deliberate delay to conduct election to the party’s substantive chairmanship position”.

Specifically, he said Mr Uche Secondus, Acting National Chairman of PDP, failed to initiate the process of filling the position of the party’s chairman.

Gulak said following the resignation of the former National Chairman of PDP, Adamu Muazu (from North-East Zone), the party was under mandate to get a replacement from the same zone.

The plaintiff, who claimed he had indicated interest to contest the position, asked the court to compel the Secondus- led leadership of the party to commence the process for the election.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Monday, Gulak’s lawyer, Mr Jibrin Okutepa (SAN), argued that “by zoning formula, the North-East is yet to conclude its tenure as chairman of the party”.

He said the zoning system was reflected in Section 223 sub sections 1(b) of the 1999

Constitution as amended and in Article 47(6) of the party’s Constitution. He also argued that the plaintiff was the only candidate from the North-East that had indicated interest in the position.
Okutepa, therefore, prayed the court to grant the reliefs sought by the plaintiff.

Counsel for the defendants, Mr Isaiah Powl, however, asked the court to dismiss the case for lack of locus standi by the plaintiff.

Powl argued that Gulak has no ‘locus’ to institute the suit because he was not a financial member of the party having failed to pay the mandatory requisite dues within certain period.

The lawyer also urged the court to dismiss the suit because the plaintiff failed to explore the internal mechanism for resolving disputes before rushing to the court.

He said contrary to the plaintiff’s position, five other candidates from the North-East had indicated interest in the national chairmanship position of the party.

Citing Article 45 sub 2 of PDP constitution, he stated that when the chairman resigned, the deputy should take over pending when election is conducted to pick new chairman.

Powl said that process was on going and the case of the plaintiff was, therefore, premature. (NAN)