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Court restrains Ayu from acting as PDP national chairman

A High Court in Benue State has granted an interim order restraining Iyorchia Ayu from parading himself as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). W.I. Kpochi, the presiding judge, gave the order yesterday while ruling on a motion ex parte marked MHC/633/2023 filed by Conrad Terhide Utaan.

“An order of interim injunction restraining the first defendant, Senator (Dr) lyorchia Ayu, from parading himself as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party having lost membership of the party, pending the hearing and determination of Motion on Notice already filed,” the judge ruled. “The application is sup- ported by a 15 paragraph affidavit to which is annexed three exhibits – A1, A2, and B – which are the applicant’s membership card of the second defendant, receipts for payment of dues and a vote of no confidence passed on the first defendant/respondent by the Igyorov Council Ward of the second defendant in Gboko Local Government, Benue State.

“Upon hearing Mr M T Assoh of learned counsel ably, move the application and upon a dispassionate cosideration of the facts placed before me in the pool of the affidavit evidence, and again, upon the consideration of the issues distilled in the written address by M T Assoh, it is my candid view that this is a proper case to grant the interim injunction as craved.

“Consequently, this application is hereby granted in terms of the reliefs captured in the motion papers as here- in before reproduced. “It is so ordered.” The case has been adjourned to April 17 for a hearing. On Sunday, the executive members of Igyorov ward, Gboko LGA of Benue state, passed a vote of no confidence on Ayu over alleged anti-party activities. The party executives also claimed that Ayu worked against the success of the PDP in his ward and did not vote in the March 18 governorship and the House of Assembly elections. Earlier, in his reaction, Ayu had dismissed those who suspended him as illiterates, ignorant and, therefore, lacked the power to suspend him.

The national chairman in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Communications, Simon Imobo-Tswam, said “the sus- pension letter was written by an illiterate beforehand, and only given to the coerced members to sign somewhere in Makurdi. “From what we know, document itself is fraudulent as the signatures of the ward executives were forged or obtained under duress.”

According to him, Article 57(7) of the PDP constitution as amended in 2017 prohibits any organ of the party or executive committee of the party at the ward or state level from taking any disciplinary measure against any member of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC). Ayu alleged that the ward chairman, his deputy, and legal adviser didn’t sign the suspension letter; so also four other members of the ward executive committee. “At the time they were sup- posed to be in Makurdi with the other coerced, intimidated and induced members of the exco, they were actually in their villages, going about their normal businesses. “Up till now, about nine members of the ward exco are still being held hostage in a location in Makurdi for obvi- ous reasons. And, expectedly, their mobile numbers have been switched off,” he added.

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