Prince Uche Secondus, former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may not return to his position following the ratification of Elder Yemi Akinwonmi’s assumption of office as the acting national chairman of the party.
Justice O. Gbasam of the Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt had on Monday granted an order of interim injunction stopping Secondus from parading himself as the PDP national chairman.
The order was made following a suit filed against Secondus and the PDP by some members of the party identified as Ibeawuchi Ernest Alex, Dennis Nna Amadi, Emmanuel Stephen and Umezirike Onucha.
Justice Gbasam ordered Secondus to stop parading himself as a member of the PDP (the second defendant).
Justice Gbasam further restrained Secondus from attending or presiding over any meeting of the PDP or any committee of the party at ward, local government or state government levels.
The court also barred Secondus from calling for any ward, local government or state congress or setting up committees for such congresses or participating in any activity of the PDP whatsoever while on suspension as a member of PDP.
Barely 24 hours later, Justice Nusirat. I. Umar, a vacation Judge of the Kebbi State High Court, reinstated Secondus as the national chairman of the party, saying she was satisfied after reading the affidavit of the respondents that an interim order should be granted on the purported suspension of Secondus pending the determination of the case.
Based on the court ruling, Secondus had resumed at the national secretariat but he was prevented from attending the national caucus meeting of the party.
Few hours later, a Cross River High Court presided by Justice Edem Kufre gave an order stopping Secondus from parading himself as the national chairman of the party and also restrained him from presiding over the NEC meeting that took place on Saturday.
A credible source in the party told our correspondent on Sunday that while the party will not allow a Caretaker Committee to manage the affairs of the party, the chances of Secondus returning to his position is very unlikely.
According to our source, who is a member of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), many stakeholders in the party, including elder statesmen and retired Generals, have appealed to Secondus to remain a party man and not take further actions that will plunge the party into more crisis.
“Yes, Akinwonmi has been confirmed as the acting national chairman and he may be in that position until a convention is held and a substantive national chairman is elected. A lot of people have raised eyebrows about his state of health but the party constitution is clear on that. In his absence, his deputy will preside over the affairs of the party.
“On the issue of Secondus, I think he may have kissed the position goodbye. Many believe that rather than being forcefully removed from office, which will amount to a disgrace, it is better if it was said that it was the court that removed him from office and he complied.
“Even if he moves to vacate the court order and he is restored like the Kebbi court did, he will be in for many battles as the forces against him, led by the Rivers State governor have vowed that he will not complete his tenure as the PDP national chairman. That was what informed the Calabar court ruling which gave another order stopping him from resuming office.
“At the end of the day, we will be having multiple court cases like what happened in the case of Oshiomhole as APC chairman. We will not make any headway and so, the best thing is for Secondus to accept his fate in the interest of the party and allow Elder Akinwonmi to manage the affairs of the party.
“I know that many of us have spoken with him, including founding fathers of the PDP and elder statesmen who are not in the party. They have advised him to be a party man and not take any action that will further worsen the situation in the PDP. I also know that Secondus loyalists are also urging him not to chicken out, while some lawyers are also mounting pressure on him to challenge the Calabar court ruling. The ultimate decision is his to make”.
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