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Court orders reinstatement of 17 PDP South-West Caretaker Committee members

13 May 2014, 21:03

Lagos - A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday ordered the reinstatement of 17 members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), South-West Zonal Caretaker Committee.

The plaintiffs had filed the suit, seeking an order reinstating them as caretaker committee members of the PDP South-West zone.

They averred, in their motion, that they had earlier resigned as members of the caretaker committee to enable them contest in the PDP zonal congress.

The plaintiffs averred that PDP had cancelled the congress and elected new members of the committee and, therefore, relegating their position.

They urged the court to hold that they remain the valid caretaker committee members by virtue of a court order, insisting that PDP cannot appoint any other persons to replace them.

The plaintiffs maintained that their resignation was to enable them contest for a substantive office during the congress, which was scheduled to hold on August 24, 2013 but was cancelled.

They argued that since the congress was cancelled, their resignation is, therefore, of no effect.

Delivering his judgement, Justice Okon Abang, ordered a reinstatement of the plaintiffs to their former positions.

The judge held that the plaintiffs could remain in office until a valid congress is conducted.

Abang said: "I hold that the plaintiffs can remain in office until a valid congress is held."

The judge said as part of the guidelines for the zonal congress, the plaintiffs, who were members of the caretaker committee, could not contest for any office until they resigned.

He said that to fulfil that condition, the plaintiffs had to resign, adding that since the congress was cancelled, they ought to return to their positions.

The judge held that the appointment of any other person or persons into the committee would be illegal and contemptuous of the subsisting orders of court.

He, therefore, ordered the PDP to recognise the plaintiffs as the valid officers in the South-West.

Abang also awarded a cost of N30 000 in favour of the plaintiffs.

 - NAN

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