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Expulsion: Ngige floors PDP

Posted by By Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka on 2005/05/18 | Views: 618 |

Expulsion: Ngige floors PDP

Barely 96 hours after Anambra State governor, Dr. Chris Ngige, floored the Federal Government at the Supreme Court over his purported resignation and withdrawal of his police details he has earned a victory over the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on his expulsion from the party.

Barely 96 hours after Anambra State governor, Dr. Chris Ngige, floored the Federal Government at the Supreme Court over his purported resignation and withdrawal of his police details he has earned a victory over the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on his expulsion from the party.

Ngige’s victory came via a declaration by an Anambra State High Court, sitting in Ogidi, that his expulsion by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the PDP was a nullity as it contravenes the party’s constitution.

In an about 100 minutes’ judgment delivered by Justice Okey Ernest-Egbuna, in the suit brought by Governor Ngige against the PDP, the judge held that the expulsion of the governor from the party was inconsistent with the constitution of the PDP and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, hence null, void and of no effect.

The court, which gave victory to Ngige on six grounds, also made restrictive orders to the effect that "the order of PDP NEC expelling the applicant (Ngige) is hereby set aside as being illegal, null and void and contrary to PDP and Nigerian constitutions," and "that the order to the 4th and 5th respondents to remove the name of Ngige from the PDP Alor Ward 1 is illegal, null and void and enforceable."
The court held that by the PDP constitution only the convention of the party has the authority to discipline any member and not the NEC.

It further said, "Article 16 (a) 1 and 12 set out what is referred to as offences. It is however, noteworthy that only the National Convention can decide on discipline, including the dismissal and suspension of members. Article 16 (b) of the said Exhibit 3 set out the strict rules to be followed by the national convention in the discipline of officers, organs and members. It provides that one, at every level of the party a disciplinary committee of seven members shall be appointed, that is at ward, local government state and national level, by the executive committee.

"Implicitly in the above is that one, the party sought to be disciplined must be notified well in time of the various allegations against him; two, disciplinary step must commence at the ward level at which he was registered as member and three, the disciplinary shall be under the control of the national convention.
"I have looked at the document before the court, the applicant has held that the above steps were not taken, this was not controverted by first, second and third respondents.

The fourth and fifth respondents went further to agree in their oral reply that these steps were not followed," the judge ruled.
The judge stressed that from the evidence before the court, the Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola panel was an adhoc panel and not for the purpose of disciplining of Ngige but to investigate the root cause of the political crisis in Anambra state.

"Though it was a mere investigative panel for that purpose, there is no evidence that any allegation of any wrong was served on the applicant, there is no affirment that he was given an opportunity to reply thereto. The report proceeding from the panel there upon took over the duties of national convention and initiated disciplinary measures against the applicant.

"By failure to comply with the rules of national justice and fair hearing under section 36(1) of the Nigerian constitution, the alleged expulsion is void, an invalid," he said; adding:

" I therefore declared that the decision purportedly taken by the national executive committee of PDP on Thursday 3rd day of March 2005, purporting to expel the plaintiff from the PDP is contrary to section 36(1) of the Nigerian constitution and invalid, null and void for being beyond the power of the said committee and for contravening the human rights and fair hearing and natural law provisions of section 36(1) of Nigeria constitution 1999 and for failing to follow strictly the provisions of Article 14, and 16(b) and 16(c) of the constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party".

The court also held that it is the law that the Nigeria constitution 1999 is the basic fundamental law of the land, noting that the supremacy of the 1999 constitution is recorgnized by the PDP constitution in Article 2(3), hence any provision of the party constitution that conflicts or be inconsistent with the 1999 constitution "is to the extent of the inconsistent invalid, void and inoperative".
Meanwhile, counsel to PDP, Mr. I.I Kantiok, said that his client would go to the Court of Appeal to contest the judgment, so as to ensure that the party carries on with its disciplinary obligations on members

In his remarks, counsel to Ngige, Mr. Emeka Ngige (SAN), described the judgment as a sound and well researched one, hoping that PDP as a law abiding party would take back Ngige in its fold, so that he would continue to deliver the party’s programme in the state.

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Comments (3)

Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown