by Ayobami Olopade
Members of the break away group of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), known as the New PDP who were suspended by the party leadership are determined to fight their way back into reckoning in the mainstream PDP as they filed a suit at an Abuja High Court on Tuesday, through their lawyer, Chief Awa Kalu(SAN), challenging their suspension from the party.
The suspended members, led by Abubakar Baraje, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola (who was recently reinstated as the National Secretary of the Party by the Court of Appeal but has not been sworn in by the party), Dr. Sam Sam Jaja(former National Deputy Chairman) and Alhaji Ibrahim Kazaure, are asking the court to hold that their suspension was done in bad faith and in a way contrary to the disciplinary procedure outlined in the Constitution of the PDP.
While listing the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), as defendants in the suit, they claim that their right to fair hearing as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has been infringed upon and want the court to declare as such.
On November 11, just after Oyinlola was reinstated by the Appeal Court after he was sacked by an Abuja Federal High Court, the PDP suspended the above named members who were considered as the leaders of the New PDP in a bid to prevent the enforcement of the Court of Appeal verdict.
Announcing the suspension, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh declared that the suspended members violated the rules governing the PDP including Section 58(1) (b) (g) (h) and (I) which deal with disobeying party directives, causing internal disaffection in the party, absenteeism from party activities, anti party activities, factionalisation of the party among others.
He also announced that some of the suspended members were referred to the party’s disciplinary committee for further investigation and action as some of them attempted to steal the identity of the PDP and declared themselves as officers of the “New PDP.”