By Joshua Williams
Embattled National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Prince Uche Secondus, has approached a Court of Appeal in the Abuja Division to demand an affirmation that his four-year tenure will end on December 9, 2021.
Secondus who has been having a running battle for his position, asked the appellate court to quash orders of two high courts that restrained him as the National Chairman of the party.
Secondus also asked the court to nullify his suspension by his ward, insisting that Section 59(3) of the PDP constitution clearly stated that the ward or the state executive committee of any state has no powers to suspend any national officer of the party.
Secondus took the position following attempts to remove him from office by some chieftains of PDP, the governors of the party, Board of Trustees (BoT) members, former Senate Presidents, former governors, and other leaders who had, on August 10, abridged his tenure by bringing the party’s National Convention forward from December 2021 to October.
The PDP chieftains had also prevailed on the Secondus-led National Working Committee of the party (NWC) not to seek re-election at the October National Convention.
In the appeal filed on Friday by his lawyer, Emeka Etiaba (SAN), the PDP chairman is challenging the order of the Degema High Court in Rivers State and the Calabar High Court in Cross River State.
He argued that Section 59(3) of the PDP constitution clearly stated that the wards or the state executive committee of any state has no powers to suspend any national officer of the party.
According to him, it is the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party that has the right to suspend a national officer after he has passed through a disciplinary committee.
He also insisted that the constitution of the party guaranteed that the tenure of any member of the NWC, including the National Chairman, is four years, stressing that his tenure will end on December 9.
A Rivers State High Court, in an interim order on August 23, signed by Justice O. Gbasam and the Assistant Chief Registrar (Litigation), Patricia N. Victor Nwoka, restrained Secondus from parading himself as the PDP National Chairman.
In obedience to the Rivers State High Court order, Secondus abdicated his office and handed over to his deputy, Yemi Akinwonmi.
However, his supporters went to a Kebbi State High Court, which issued an interim order directing him to resume office, pending the determination of the substantive suit.
But few hours after the respite, another High Court in Calabar, Cross River State, ordered him to stop parading himself as the Chairman of the party.
The interim order was issued by Justice Edem Kufre, upon an application brought by a member of the party, Enang Wani, ahead of the PDP NEC meeting.