By Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
A Federal High Court in Abuja has rejected a suit by National Headquarters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the powers of the Ogun chapter of the party to conduct congresses in the state.
In a judgment on Tuesday, in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/208/2020, Justice Ahmed Mohammed held the case amounted to an invitation to his court to sit on appeal over a question already determined by another judge of the same Federal High Court.
Justice Mohammed, who declined jurisdiction over the case, held the subsisting judgment delivered on June 24, 2016 by Justice I. N. Buba in a suit marked: FHC/L/CS/636/2016 has resolved the issue on whether or not the Ogun State PDP Exco could conduct congresses in the state.
The judge, who noted the 2016 suit was filed in the Lagos Division of the court by Chief Adebayo Dayo as Ogun State Chairman and on behalf of the state PDP EXCO, held that parties in both the old and the new cases are the same.
He proceeded to strike out the new suit.
The national PDP had, in the latest suit, prayed the court to among others, hold that by virtue of the party’s amended constitution of 2017, the 2020 PDP Guidelines for the conduct of congresses, the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act, it is the exclusive function of the National Working Committee of the PDP to appoint congress committee members for the purpose of conducting elections into the party’s executive offices from the ward level to the national level.
Listed as defendants in the suit were Engr (Chief) Dayo, Mrs. Bimbo Lanre-Balogun, Sampson K. Bamgbose, Mrs. Mulikat Kusimo, Awoyemi. Segun, Alhaji Kola Aknyemi, Hon.Bola Odumosun and Olasunkanmi Oyejde.
The judge further held that the main question determined in the 2016 case has rendered this case (FHC/ABJ/CS/208/2020) incompetent.
The judge, in holding that parties are the same in both cases, noted the plaintiff in the earlier suit, who is the first defendant in this suit, sued for himself and on behalf of the Ogun State EXCO of the PDP.
He also noted that the national body of the PDP was the second defendant in the case decided in 2016 and that in the instant case, the national PDP also sued members of the Ogun State EXCO
The judge said the parties in the instant case, having been part of the 2016 case, are bound by the decision in the earlier case.