Court fixes date to decide Ayu, PDP’s Fate


PDP Crisis: Ayu To Know Fate May 26


Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, the suspended National Chairman of , will learn his fate at a hearing on May 26, 2023.


A Makurdi High Court presided over by Benue State Chief Judge, Justice Maurice Ikpambese, will rule on the suit challenging Ayu’s removal.



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Mr. Conrad Utaan, a stalwart of the PDP in the state, filed the suit against the embattled National Chairman following his suspension by the party’s Igyorov Ward Executive Committee following a vote of no confidence in him.


When the case came up for hearing over the weekend, Dr. Ayu’s counsel, Yakubu Maikasuwa, a Senior Advocate, raised preliminary objections, questioning the court’s jurisdiction to hear the case because it was an internal political party matter.



He also claimed that the plaintiff did not use “the internal dispute resolution mechanism of the party to resolve the matter before approaching the court.”


He also claimed that “no wrong was done to the plaintiff,” and that “there is no benefit or utilitarian value to be derived by the plaintiff from the suit.”



In response to the objection, Mr. Utaan’s counsel, Mr. Emmanual Ukala, also a Senior Advocate, insisted that the matter was not an internal political party matter, citing a judicial precedent that had resolved a similar issue.


He cited the High Court decision in the case of five PDP members vs. Uche Secondus, the Court of Appeal decision in Oshiomhole vs Salihu in 2021, and the Supreme Court decision in Gana vs SDP in 2019.



Mr. Ukala contended that “when it comes to interpretation of the constitution of a political party, the court is entitled to exercise its jurisdiction.”



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In response to Dr. Ayu’s counsel’s contention that the plaintiff did not use the PDP’s dispute resolution mechanism, Mr. Ukala stated that “the complaint is against Dr. Ayu, and as at the time the suit was instituted, he was a sitting National Chairman of the PDP.”



He stated that “Dr. Ayu cannot be a judge in his own case because doing so would violate the principle of fair hearing as stated in Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).”


Ukala argued that “it is the case put forward by a plaintiff that determines his locus standi, and a look at the originating summons shows that the plaintiff has locus standi in the instant suit.”



On Ayu’s counsel’s objection that the suit had no utilitarian value or benefit to the plaintiff, Ukala told the court that the suit had utilitarian value and benefit to the plaintiff “since the plaintiff is a member of the party, who also had interest in the national chairman when it was zoned to zone.”


He asked the court to dismiss all preliminary objections to the summons.


Mr. Ukala informed the court that Dr. Ayu had not challenged his Ward Executive’s suspension in any court while adopting the originating summons, the accompanying written address, affidavit in support of the originating summons, and exhibit.



After hearing the counsels and the parties in suit adopted their processes, Justice Ikpambese adjourned the case until May 26, 2023, for a decision.


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