TEN months after his resignation from office, a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to reinstate him.He said that he remained the national chairman of the party “in the eyes of the law,” claiming that his purported resignation from office on January 15, 2014 was null and void as it flouted provisions of section 47(5) of the PDP constitution.
He also asked the court to order the PDP; the incumbent National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu; and the Independent National Electoral Commission “to recognise and permit him to continue to preside over the affairs of the party till 2016.”
The ex-PDP chair argued that having been elected for a four-year term in 2012 he ought to legally remain in office till 2016 but was only forced to “step aside” from office on January 15, 2014.
These submissions are contained in a counter-claim which Tukur filed on Wednesday in a suit instituted by another member of the PDP, Aliyu Gurin, who is challenging the appointment of Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu as the national chairman of the party.
Tukur also argued that the appointment of Mu’azu was in breach of the provisions of section 47(6) of the PDP constitution, adding that the position could only be filled through an election at the party’s convention.
Though, Tukur is the second defendant in the suit, his counsel, Mr. Adamson Adeboro, explained to journalists in Abuja after filing the counter-claim on Wednesday that the suit touched on his client’s rights and had only refused to personally file a suit to reclaim his former position since January in order to allow peace to reign in the party.
Tukur claimed in an affidavit in support of the counter-claim that he was made to merely step aside as the national chairman following pressures mounted on President Goodluck Jonathan, who is the leader of the party, to remove him (Tukur) in order to allow seven PDP governors who defected from the party to return.
He maintained that he remained the national chairman of the PDP and urged the court to declare the purported appointment of Mu’azu by the National Executive Committee of the party as “null and void being inconsistent with section 45(1) and (2) of the party’s constitution.”
The affidavit deposed to by one of Tukur’s lawyers, Femi Ekperobe, read in part, “The position of the National Chairman of the 1st defendant (PDP) is not by appointment but election in accordance to the Constitution of the 1st defendant.
“That even if he submitted a letter of resignation on January 15, 2014, during the 63rd meeting of the NEC of the 1st defendant, the said letter did not comply with section 47(5) of the 1st defendant’s constitution which requires 30 days prior notice of such resignation should be given to the NEC by him.
“That the subsequent presentation of the 3rd defendant (Mu’azu) to NEC as the new National Chairman did not also comply with section 47(6) of the PDP constitution, section 85(3) of the Electoral Act, 2010, and section 223(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).”
The matter comes up for hearing before Justice Evoh Chukwu on Thursday (today).
Source Punch Ng