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Court Reserves Ruling On Taraba PDP Leadership Crisis


The Federal High Court sitting in Jalingo  presided over by Justice Khalifa Bala Usman has reserved its ruling in the case challenging the appointment of Hon  Abubakar Bawa as the substantive chairman of the Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) in Taraba State.

 

The State's Deputy Chairman of PDP, Mr. Inuwa Bakari, had approached the court through an originating summons dated March 30, 2023, to determine whether the National Working Committee (NWC) has the power to appoint Bawa as substantive chairman of the party in the state.

 

Respondents in the case are the PDP, Bawa and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), though there was no representation for INEC in the court.

 

Bakari assumed the chair-manship position in acting capacity and led the party to victory in the just concluded general elections following the exit of the erstwhile State Chairman of PDP, Mr. Agbu Kefas, to contest the gubernatorial election in the state.

 

Insisting that PDP did not follow due process in the appointment of Bawa, Bakari stated that the NWC of PDP has no power to appoint Bawa saying only the State Working Committee (SWC) of the party has the power to do so.

 

The Counsel to Bakari, Mr. Samba Mbanaso, who spoke to journalists, noted that the case before the court is straightforward as he maintained that by the constitution of PDP, the Deputy Chairman, in line with the party constitution, assumes office in acting capacity.

 

Mbanaso maintained that PDP is bound to comply with the provisions of its constitution, stressing that the emergence of Bawa breached the constitution of the party.

 

However, counsel to the 1st and 2nd defendants, Mr. Joseph Oguche, described the arguments of the plaintiff's counsel as baseless and urged the court to dismiss the case and award costs to the defendants.

 

Oguche relied on the abstract of the extraordinary meeting of the State Executive Committee of March 3, 2023, and the constitution of the party as well as the letter of appointment and oath of office administered on Bawa on March 24, to urge the court to dismiss the originating summons.

 

He further argued that the plaintiff, being a member of PDP, is bound to comply with Article 60 of the party constitution and wondered why he took the matter to court without waiting for the decision of the NWC of the party. 

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