· * Tukur Urges Loyalty
By: Sunday Oyewole
The national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bamanga Tukur suffered a setback on Friday as a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, turned down his request stopping the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognizing, dealing and relating with the Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led ‘New PDP’ faction.
In the same vein, the presiding Justice Elvis Chukwu declined the prayer of the Tukur-led PDP to restrain the Baraje faction from functioning as national officers of the party and from operating or opening a parallel national, State, Local Government Area and Ward Secretariat of the party pending the determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.
To cap it all, the Court also declined Tukur’s prayer to stop the ‘New PDP’ faction of the party from interfering and continued interference with the duties and functions of the newly elected Executives of the party.
However, while adjourning the case to September 12, 2013, the Judge directed that the defendants should be put on notice for accelerated hearing.
The Bamanga Tukur-led PDP had approached the court via a motion exparte brought pursuant to order 46 Rule 5  and order 6 Rule 5 [c] wherein the urged the court to grant the above reliefs.
Filed and argues by Chief Tochukwu Onwugbufor (SAN) on behalf of the applicants, the motion listed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Abubakar Kawu Baraje, Dr. Jaja Sam Jaja, Olagunsoye Oyinlola and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as defendants.
While moving the exparte application, Onwugbufor informed the court that the defendants have concluded plans to submit to the INEC on Friday, the names of the purported Governorship and Deputy Governorship candidates of the PDP for the November 16, 2013, gubernatorial elections in Anambra State, thereby, usurping the exclusive duties and functions of the plaintiffs.
He further drew the attention of the court to the fact that the Baraje faction has concluded plans to open and/or operate parallel PDP Secretariats at Ward, LGA, State and National levels.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria further submitted that the Baraje led faction of the party have created confusion by which no one knows the real PDP recognized by law and the PDP which is an ‘impostor’.
“The most embarrassing thing is that they formed themselves into what they call new PDP as if there was an old PDP. In that wise, they are interfering with the duties and functions of the national officers who were duly elected at the national convention of the party, he stated.
Therefore, he submitted that the court has the power and duty to protect the right acquired by the plaintiff’s pursuant to the election of August 31, 2013.
“If your lordship fails to exercise that power to stop the impostors from the exercise of the right of the plaintiffs, the right may be destroyed even before the motion for the interlocutory injunction is heard, because they could have completed the act complained off,” he said.
Justice Chukwu, while ruling on the Tukur’s application held, “although I’m not afraid of granting an exparte order especially when it borders on issues capable of creating anarchy, I owe a duty to maintain a balance. In the circumstance, what I want to do is to order that they be put on notice.
“Both parties are to maintain status quo ante bellum pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice. The time for hearing all the processes in this suit is to be abridged to four days.”
To ensure accelerated hearing, the court granted an order directing that the originating summons and all other processes in the suit be served on the defendants by substituted means by pasting the processes on the entrance gate of their residences.
Meanwhile, Mr. Tukur issued a statement shortly after the court ruling, urged party members to remain loyal while restating his resolve to continue to provide purposeful leadership.
“His statement reads in full, “Following the injunction granted by Justice E. S Chukwu of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, upholding the leadership of our great party under my Chairmanship, I wish to use this medium to congratulate and appreciate my fellow leaders and all members of our great party for your steadfastness and commitment to the ideals of the founding fathers of the PDP underscored by your unflinching loyalty to the constitution of the party.
“I am very pleased that you remained loyal in spite of the recent developments that have confronted our collective resolve to provide purposeful leadership for our party and dear country. I wish to reassure you that these developments will in no way distract or affect our undiluted readiness and focus on delivering on all promises incumbent on the mandate vested willingly by you on us.
“As the National Chairman of your party, I shall remain unflinchingly resolute on good leadership. My stand on good governance at all levels from those elected on the platform of the PDP is irrevocable. It is certain that our leverage on the faithful implementation of the manifesto of the PDP will once more ensure victory for our party in the 2015 general elections.
“Accordingly, I charge all members of the PDP to close ranks and continue to remain loyal and committed to the ideals of a united, formidable and democratic national political party, where power belongs to all Nigerians irrespective of tribe, religion or any other divide”.
As it has been from the beginning, the PDP under my chairmanship shall
continue to ensure that power resides fully with the people.
Let me re-state my unwavering stand on internal democracy, openness and
robust ventilation of all party issues. This has been our strength, an
impregnable forte of our great party PDP for over a decade. We shall not
relent on this. Thank you and may God bless us all.