Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, restrained the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from suspending or expelling members perceived to be loyal to Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgement delivered on two separate suits filed by the affected PDP members, held that the fears of the applicants were well founded, and that suspending or expelling them would amount to the breach of their rights to freedom of association.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Sir Siminlalayi Fubara, Rivers PDP governor-elect and his deputy, Dr Ngozi Odu, alongside 48 federal and state legislators from the state, had sued the party and its executives over alleged plan to suspend or expel them over their association with Wike.
Also, Sen. Sandy Onor, Cross Rivers PDP governorship candidate, and his running mate, Ambrose Emana, had sued the party and its executives over allegations bordering on planned suspension.
The suits marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/123/2023 and FHC/ABJ/CS/215/2023 respectively were filed by Dr Joshua Musa, SAN.
Delivering judgement, the judge held that it was the power of the court to grant a redress to persons who had well established acts that would amount to the infringement on their rights.
He said that due process of law must be followed by any organisation set up by law while dealing with issues relating to law.
He said members of political parties can not be suspended arbitrarily without compliance with the political party’s guidelines.
He said “the applicants have established that the respondents will likely temper with their rights,” adding that the case of the applicants succeeded on merit.
NAN reports that plaintiffs’ lawyer, Musa, and the defence counsel, Johnson Usman, SAN, had, on March 24, adopted their processes and presented their arguments for and against the suits before theye were adjourned for judgment.
Justice Ekwo, on Tuesday, also granted the motion moved by Mr Musa, seeking an order to amend their suit in another suit filed by the Rivers PDP Chairman, Desmond Akawo, against the party and its executives. which was earlier opposed by Mr Usman.
The judge adjourned the suit until May 3 for ruling.(NAN)