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Court Tells Ex Gov. Wike – PDP Has Rights To Suspend, Expel You

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, told former Governor of Rivers, Nyesom Wike, that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has the right to suspend or expel him if the action is done in accordance with the law.

Justice James Omotosho stated this in a judgment he delivered on a suit filed by Wike, prior to the 2023 general elections, to seek a court order to stop PDP from taking action against him without a fair hearing.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the ex-governor had sued the PDP, its National Working Committee, NWC, and National Executive Committee, NEC, as 1st to 3rd respondents.

Mr Wike, in the suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/139/2023 dated and field Feb. 2 by his lawyer, Joshua Musa, SAN, also joined the National Chairman of PDP, Dr Iyorchia Ayu; National Secretary of PDP, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, and the Independent National Electoral Commission as 4th to 6th respondents respectively.

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He had prayed for an order directing all parties to maintain the status quo and stay all actions in the matter relating to the threat to suspend or expel him by the 1st to 5th respondents pending the hearing and determination of the originating motion.

He asked the court to enforce his fundamental right to freedom of association which was allegedly about to be breached by the respondents.

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But the PDP, through its lawyer, Johnson Usman, SAN, disagreed with Wike’s submission.

He argued that the case was only based on speculation as Wike had failed to provide any evidence to substantiate that the respondents intended to suspend or expel him from the party.

He said the party had not contemplated suspending or expelling members of the G5 Governors or the Integrity Group, despite engaging in anti-party activities.

He said Wike and four other governors engaged in anti-party activities by forming the Integrity Group and campaigning for another presidential candidate in the Feb. 25 election.

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The senior lawyer argued that a member, who voluntarily joined an association, must abide by its rules.

Usman, who argued that the ex-governor must have exhausted the internal mechanism of the party first, said the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter, which, he said, was only within the realm of conjuncture.

He further argued that it was not enough for Wike to institute the suit on fundamental rights enforcement grounds.

NAN reports that Justice Omotosho had, on Feb. 2, given an interim order against the party and others listed in the face of Wike’s ex-parte motion.

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