Court extends order stopping PDP from suspending Wike
A Federal High Court in Portharcourt has extended an order prohibiting the Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) from suspending Rivers state Governor Nyesom Wike.
The ruling, delivered by Justice Kolawole Omotosho on Friday, was a continuation of a previous ruling he gave in February regarding the same case.
Background of the case
The case began in February 2019 after the National Working Committee of the PDP announced its intention to suspend the governor for a period of six months for the following:
- anti-party activities
- alleged interference with other party members
- refusing to recognise the party’s recent decisions
Wike responded by filing a case against the national committee of the PDP, alleging that these charges were invalid. After a hearing in February 2020, Justice Omotosho ordered the party not to take any steps to suspend him.
Extension of the stay of execution
At the proceedings on Friday, PDP's counsel informed the court that the party had complied with the February order. The counsel for Wike, on the other hand, asked for an extension of the stay of execution, on the grounds that the PDP had failed to give details of the disciplinary committee set up by the party to investigate the Governor's case.
The court later agreed to extend the order preventing the PDP from suspending Wike. The case was adjourned till April 22, 2020.
Reactions to the ruling
Many were pleased with the court's ruling, with some opining that it helps to uphold the rule of law in Nigeria.
Governor Wike himself had this to say on the ruling:
“I thank the court for upholding justice and the rule of law. This ruling reaffirms the fact that justice is blind, and that no man is above the law.”
Today, a court extended an order stopping the People's Democratic Party (PDP) from suspending Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
The court ruled that the PDP did not introduce any new facts or circumstances to show why the stay of execution it obtained on the 11th of February should be vacated. The order prevents all PDP organs across the country from taking any action on the purported disciplinary measures against Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike.
This ruling was passed by a Federal High Court, Abuja division, with Justice John Tsoho presiding. In the ruling, Justice Tsoho held that the complaint raised in the originating summons was yet to be taken care of and that he lacks the jurisdiction to hear such matters.
It is no longer news to hear of the incessant wrangling and in-hous courts such wrangling have been plaguing the PDP. Just last year, a similar court order was obtained to stop the suspension of Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State by the same party.
While the Peoples Democratic Party has been battling to make some adjustments in order to increase its fortunes for pre and post-electoral 2018, it appears the crisis has been compounded by more divisions as members struggle for power.
It is pertinent for the party's leadership to rethink its strategies and unite in order to sustain the party, instead of razing it.
The issue of Wike's status in the party is not a matter for the courts, but a matter for the dialogue among the party leaderships and with the governor himself.
The court ruling is in favor of the governor, while he engages in dialogues with the party's organs. The court order is certainly a reprieve for the Governor and his team. However, the arguments within the party are far from over.