A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama has nullified the elections held by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State on June 10 and 11 to elect a three-man ad-hoc ward delegate that would participate in the voting at the primary of the PDP scheduled for June 26, 2021.
Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, in a ruling, held that all activities engaged in by the party after the court’s June 9, 2021 judgment sacking the Anambra PDP’s Executive Council (EXCO), including the June 10 and 11 elections, were null and void because they were done in violation of orders contained in the judgment.
Justice Adeniyi also rejected the request by the PDP and two of its chieftains – Chief Ndubisi Nwobu and Barr. Uchenna Obiora – for an order staying the court’s June 9 judgment.
In the ruling on the three applications by the PDP, Nwobu and Obiora, Justice Adeniyi held that they failed to make out a case to warrant the grant of their application that sought to stay the judgment pending the determination of the appeal.
Justice Adeniyi came down hard on the applicants for denigrating the court in their reaction to the judgment and proceeded to hold that they did not show that the non-staying of the judgment would either render their appeals nugatory or make it impossible for the party to conduct its primary for the forthcoming governorship election.
He said: “The first applicant (the PDP), which is the principal party, has maintained in the face of this court that its judgment is null and void for want of jurisdiction. The same party cannot, at the same time, seek equitable reliefs from the same court.
“A party that has no regard for the judgment of a court and described it in derogatory terms to the whole world, as shown in Exhibit C, cannot quietly return to the same court to seek equitable relief to stay the same judgment that it defied and defiled.
“An assessment of the totality of the circumstances that have been presented before me by the instant applications leads to only one conclusion, which is that the applicants do not have an iota of respect for the authority of this court, they issued a release to embolden their members not to reckon with the judgment of the court and followed it up by taking of definite contemptuous steps in disregard of the court’s judgment.
“For them to come back with a motion for stay of execution and injunction pending the determination of their appeal, in my view, is a clear afterthought. I there say that no court worth its authority will grant any such application, no matter how well presented and argued,” Justice Adeniyi said.
The June 9 judgment, which they sought to stay, was on a suit marked: HC/CV/774/2021 filed by Samuel Anyakolah (for himself and all local government chairmen and ward executives that emerged from the Anambra PDP congress conducted on November 28 and December 1, 2017 under the supervision of Sir Chukwudi Umeaba, as Acting Chairman State Caretaker Committee).
The judge agreed with the plaintiff/claimant that the PDP violated its constitution in the conduct of the Southeast zonal congress of March 6, 2021 and the appointments made therein.
He declared among others, that “all congresses, designations or appointments made by the first defendant (the PDP), with respect to the positions of the state chairman, EXCO members and local government chairmen, as contained in pages 14,15 and 16 of the Southeast zonal congress brochure of 6th March 2021 are hereby nullified and set aside.”
The judge ordered the PDP to henceforth, recognise and adopt only the list of the already inaugurated party officers and delegates that emerged from the Anambra PDP congresses conducted on November 28, 2017 and December 1, 2017 validated by Senator France Bent Ward Congress Appeal Panel report and Barrister Ukpai Ukairo Local Government Appeal Panel report, under the supervision of Sir Chukwudi Umeaba, who shall continue to act in the capacities for which they were duly elected.