Trouble looms as a Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High on Thursday nullified the elections held by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Anambra State on June 10 and 11, ahead of its primary election to pick its candidate for the November 2021 gubernatorial election.
Recall that the PDP had elected a three-man ad-hoc ward delegate for each ward that would participate in the voting at the primary of the PDP scheduled for June 26, 2021.
But in a ruling, the court, presided over by Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, held that all activities engaged in by the PDP 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, which sought to stay the judgment, pending the determination of the appeal.
Justice Adeniyi 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 lead 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 theresay that no court worth its authority will grant any such application, no matter how well presented and argued.”
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 South-East 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 South-East 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.