PDP: Court Dashes Tukur’s Hope For Return

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Tuesday dismissed a request by a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Bamangar Tukur, to be reinstated after 10 months of resignation.

The court’s rejection of the request was consequent upon the dismissal of the suit in which a PDP member in Adamawa State, Aliyu Gurin, asked for the removal from office of the current National Chairman of the ruling PDP, Adamu Mu’azu.

The suit marked FHC/ ABJ/CS/2014 was instituted by Gurin, but Tukur, who was a defendant in the suit, filed a counter-claim, seeking the same set of main prayers as the plaintiff.

Their prayers were based on the grounds that Mu’azu’s appointment flouted the provisions of Section 45(1) and (2) of the PDP constitution.

Like the plaintiff, Tukur argued that his resignation from office on January 15, 2014 failed to comply with the provisions of the party’s constitution, which required that a 30-day pre-resignation notice must be given to the National Executive Committee of the party.

The PDP, Mu’azu and the Independent National Electoral Commission were joined as defendants in the suit.

Justice Evoh Chukwu in his judgment on Tuesday dismissed both the main suit and Tukur’s counter-claim, describing them as constituting an abuse of court process.

The court held that the plaintiff lacked the locus standi to institute the suit and that Tukur’s counter-claim was strange and unknown to law.

The judge dismissed the main suit and awarded N100 in favour of each of the PDP, Mu’azu and INEC, to be paid by the plaintiff.

The court held that Gurin lacked the locus standi to institute the suit because his interest in the issue was not in any way greater than the interest of the other party members.

The judge agreed with the PDP and Mu’azu that Gurin’s suit was speculative because he failed to prove how Mu’azu’s appointment negatively affected his intention to seek election into the House of Representatives on the platform of the PDP.

Tukur had claimed in an affidavit in support of his counter-claim that he was made to merely step aside as the PDP national chairman following pressures mounted on President Goodluck Jonathan, who is the leader of the party, to remove him (Tukur) in order to allow seven governors who defected from the party to return.

He had maintained that he remained the national chairman of the party in the eyes of the law and urged the court to declare the purported appointment of Mu’azu by the National Executive Committee of the PDP as “null and void being inconsistent with section 45(1) and (2) of the party’s constitution.”

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