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Court suspends suit by Kalu, Haruna against PDP exco

Posted by From Lemmy Ugheghe, Abuja on 2006/07/14 | Views: 342 |

Court suspends suit by Kalu, Haruna against PDP exco


AN Abuja High Court yesterday pulled the brakes on legal efforts by the Abia State Governor, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu and his Adamawa State counterpart, Mr Boni Haruna, to void the Col. Ahmadu Ali-led national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Court suspends suit by Kalu, Haruna against PDP exco

AN Abuja High Court yesterday pulled the brakes on legal efforts by the Abia State Governor, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu and his Adamawa State counterpart, Mr Boni Haruna, to void the Col. Ahmadu Ali-led national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The Judge, Abimbola Bamjoko, ordered a stay of proceedings in the matter following an application filed by counsel to Ali, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), asking the court to hold on until the decision of the Court of Appeal is reached.

In an earlier ruling, Justice Abimbola had ordered counsel to all parties in the suit to file written arguments on both the preliminary objection to the suit raised by Babalola (SAN) and the substantive suit filed by the governors' counsel, Rickey Tarfa (SAN).

Her ruling was without prejudice to the submission of Babalola that once the jurisdiction of a court is challenged in an action through a preliminary objection, the court ought to determine if it was competent to hear the action before proceeding further.

She was more in favour of Tarfa's position that both objection and substantive suit be consolidated and argued together.

Piqued by this decision, Babalola turned to the appeal court with a nine-ground of appeal, seeking to upturn the court's verdict.

Following the appeal, on June 20, the PDP counsel argued a motion, praying the court to stay further hearing of the suit pending the determination of his appeal.

He submitted that "continuation of further hearing will render the appeal nugatory."

Tarfa opposed the application on the ground that "it is an attempt to delay this matter". He urged the court to dismiss the application.

In her ruling on the application delivered yesterday, Justice Bamjoko held thus: "I believe that the substratum of the appeal will be defeated, which is the decision to consolidate."

However, she held that "if a stay of proceedings is not granted, the order to consolidate will be effected and if the appeal succeeds, the appeal will be rendered nugatory." Hence she said it was incumbent on all courts of record to preserve the res (subject matter) in their custody.

"To this extent, a stay of proceedings is hereby granted and this court will stay the proceedings in this matter, pending the determination of the interlocutory appeal at the Court of Appeal," she ruled.

By press time, the records of the trial were being compiled for onward transmission to the Court of Appeal.

The declarations being sought by the governors are:




    • that having regard to the valid and subsisting decision of an Abuja high court dated December 10, 2005 in suit No. FCT/HC/735/2005 between Godie Ikechi and three others V Peoples Democratic Party and others, there cannot be a valid and legally constituted NEC and NWC of PDP;



    • a declaration that the NEC and the NWC of the party cannot function or exercise any powers pursuant to such offices;



    • a declaration that the decision of the party's NEC mandating NEC to set up a special committee to investigate allegations of anti-party activities levelled against the plaintiffs and another was unconstitutional; and,



    • a perpetual injunction restraining the party and its agents from acting on the report of the special committee set up to investigate allegations of anti-party activities against the governors.


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