The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal on Friday nullified the judgment of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) which ordered the sack of the Anambra State Executive Committee (Exco) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The judgment was nullified on the grounds that the FCT High Court lacked territorial jurisdiction to hear and decide a matter bordering on the leadership of the PDP in Anambra State.
Justice Olukayode Adeniyi had on June 9, sacked the Anambra State executive on the grounds that the PDP violated its constitution in the conduct of the South-east zonal congress of March 6, 2021, and the appointments made therein.
The suit at the trial court marked: HC/CV/774/2021 was filed by Samuel Anyakolah (for himself and all local government chairmen and ward executives that emerged from the Anambra PDP congress conducted on November 28 and December 1, 2017, under the supervision of Sir Chukwudi Umeaba, as Acting Chairman State Caretaker Committee).
Dissatisfied with the decision of the FCT High Court, the PDP and Mr Uchenna Obiorah in their separate appeals marked: CA/A/359/2021 and CA/A/CV/368/2021 respectively approached the appellate court to upturn the decision of the trial court.
The appellate court in two judgments delivered by Justice Stephen Adah and Elfreda Williams-Daudu upheld the two appeals and accordingly set aside the judgment of the FCT High Court delivered on June 9, 2021.
They subsequently faulted all pronouncements made by the trial court.
Adeniyi, in the judgment, agreed with the plaintiff/claimant that the PDP violated its constitution in the conduct of the Southeast zonal congress of March March 6, 2021, and the appointments made therein.
The judge proceeded to declare among others, that “all congresses, designations or appointments made by the first defendant (the PDP), with respect to the positions of the state chairman, EXCO members and local government chairmen, as contained in pages 14, 15 and 16 of the South-east zonal congress brochure of March 6, 2021, are hereby nullified and set aside”.
He also declared that it is unlawful for the PDP, whether during its South-east zonal congress of 6th March or at any time, to adopt or publish the name of a state chairman, alongside persons purporting to be his EXCO members, local government chairmen and national delegates, without recourse to the extant list of the already inaugurated party officers and delegates that emerged from the Anambra PDP congresses conducted
ed on November 28, 2017, and December 1, 2017, validated by Senator France Bent Ward Congress Appeal Panel report and Ukpai Ukairo Local Government Appeal Panel report.
The judge ordered the PDP to henceforth, recognise and adopt only the list of the already inaugurated party officers and delegates that emerged from the Anambra PDP congresses conducted on November 28, 2017, and December 1, 2017, validated by Senator France Bent Ward Congress Appeal Panel report and Ukairo Local Government Appeal Panel report, under the supervision of Umeaba, who shall continue to act in the capacities for which they were duly elected.
The plaintiff had claimed that the PDP arbitrarily imposed state chairman