3 January 2013

Nigeria: New Adamawa CJ Stops PDP Congresses

The Chief Judge of Adamawa State, Justice Nathan Musa, has granted an interim injunction restraining the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caretaker committee from continuing with local council and state congresses scheduled to hold today and January 8 respectively.

But officials of the PDP said yesterday that they had not been communicated with the information and that they would, therefore, proceed with the congresses today.

They said that, already, electoral materials and officials had been drafted to all wards and centres in the local government areas for the conduct of today's congresses.

The granting of the motion is the first assignment of the newly appointed acting CJ, following a motion filed by one Alhaji Mustapha Njobdi and two others against the PDP and 10 others, claiming that their fundamental human rights had been infringed upon by the refusal of the caretaker committee to allow them to participate in the December 27, 2012, PDP ward congresses in the state.

In the motion, the plaintiffs contended that they were unfairly excluded from participating in the said ward congresses in Gella ward, Mubi South Local Government Area of the state.

The plaintiffs, in their prayers, said that even though they were eligible to contest the election by virtue of being active members who had contributed to the development of the party since 2009, they wondered why they should be excluded from participation in the ward congresses after paying their dues and obtaining nomination forms.

They similarly argued that delegates and ward officers in the ward congresses conducted in Adamawa State were never elected but were imposed on members of the party by the defendants, saying that if the subsequent congresses are allowed to take place, the same infringements would be repeated.

A heated argument has ensued between the counsel to the PDP, Barrister A. T. Shehu, and the CJ on some knotty issues which degenerated to the point that the CJ threatened to walk the counsel out of the court premises.

The CJ adjourned the case to January 8, 2013, for further hearing..

Police deny involvement

The police in Yola yesterday said it did not ban PDP congresses at the local government level.

The Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 3, Alhaji Tambari Yabo, who made this known to newsmen in Yola, said the police only advised the party to suspend the congresses slated for January 3 due to the lingering security challenges in the state.

He noted that earlier in the week, some gunmen had launched attack in Maiha, Hong and Fufore LGAs.

He explained the police thought it necessary to give the advice so that it could concentrate on providing security for the state instead of trying to cope with the congresses.

Yabo said he had met with PDP stakeholders, including members of the state caretaker committee on the matter.

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