A High Court in Rivers State has granted an interim order restraining Mr Uche Secondus from parading or acting as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Justice Okogbule Gbasam of the Degema Division of the Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt gave the order on Monday.
“That an order of interim injunction is granted restraining the first defendant from parading himself as a member of the second defendant or national chaiman of the defendant or performing the functions of national chairman of the second defendant or any committee of the second defendants at ward, local government or state level or calling for any ward, local government or state congress of the second defendant or setting up committees for such congresses or participating in any activity of the second defendant whatsoever whilst on suspension as a member of the second defendant pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction,” he said.
The order of the vacation court follows a motion ex parte marked PHC/2183/CS/2021 and filed by four persons – Ibeawuchi Alex, Dennis Amadi, Emmanuel Stephen, and Umeziriki Onucha.
Secondus and the main opposition party were listed as the first and second respondents to the suit.
According to documents signed by the Assistant Chief Registrar (Litigation) of the court, Patricia Victor-Nwoka, Justice Gbasam also ordered Secondus to stop parading himself as a member of the PDP.
He made the order after reading the affidavit in support of the motion ex parte and the written address, as well as heard the submissions of the counsel for the applicants.
The ruling of the vacation court is the latest in the series of events triggered by the crisis rocking the national leadership of the PDP.
A former spokesman for the PDP Presidential Campaign, Kasim Afegbua, had accused Secondus and the leadership of the party of committing a series of offences.
He submitted petitions to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in April, to probe the party’s leadership.
Afegbua asked the anti-corruption agencies to look into the financial transactions of Secondus, in the spirit of transparency, accountability, and book-keeping, in line with the existing anti-corruption laws.
But Secondus and others have since denied any wrongdoing. Despite their position, there have been calls from some members of the party demanding the resignation of the PDP national chairman.
On August 3, seven national officers of the main opposition party resigned from their roles, alleging that they were being side-lined and treated unfairly by Secondus.
This, among several other events, forced an emergency meeting of members of the PDP Board of Trustees who sought ways to resolve the crisis in the party.
However, the controversy has taken a new twist with the court order restraining Secondus from parading as the PDP national chairman, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.
Justice Gbasam made an order granting leave to serve by substituted means the originating summons, motion on notice, all orders made by the court, as well as all subsequent processes on Secondus by pasting them on the gate of his house in the state capital, and by publishing same in a newspaper.
He also granted the request to serve by substituted means all orders made by the court on the respondents and by publishing same in a newspaper.