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We never threatened to remove Anyanwu as national secretary, PDP leaders tell court

The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has told a Federal High Court, Abuja that it had never, at any time, threatened to remove Sen. Samuel Anyanwu as its national secretary.
The party’s leaders told Justice Inyang Ekwo in a counter affidavit filed on their behalf by the law firm of Ganny Ajape & Co dated and filed Dec. 7.
The leaders, which include Umar Damagun, the PDP’s acting National Chairman; National Executive Committee (NEC) and the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party (2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants respectively), said this was contrary to the argument of the plaintiffs.
According to them, contrary to Paragraphs 21(d), (e) and (f) of the plaintiffs’ affidavit in support of originating summons, there was no threat by the 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants to remove or declare the office of the National Secretary of the 1st defendant (PDP) vacant.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the court had, on Nov. 23, stopped the PDP from removing Anyanwu as national secretary pending the hearing and determination of the substantive matter.
The order followed an ex-parte motion by Dr Joshua Musa, SAN, on behalf of two members of the party; Geoffrey Ihentuge and Apollo’s Godspower.

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The plaintiffs had sued the PDP, Damagun (acting National Chairman), and the NEC as 1st to 3rd defendants.
Others are the NWC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as 4th to 5th defendants, respectively.
The motion was brought pursuant to Order 26, Rules 2 and 6, and Order 28, Rules 1 and 2 of the FHC (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.
The plaintiffs, who sought five reliefs, prayed for an order of interim injunction, restraining the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th defendants from carrying out the threat to remove the national secretary (Anyanwu).
This, they said, was in violation of the provisions of Article 47 (1) of the Constitution of the PDP (as amended in 2017) pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
They argued that Anyanwu was duly elected on December 10, 2021, and was entitled to remain in office till December 9, 2025.
They said that an elected national officer of the 1st defendant cannot be arbitrarily removed from office in any manner without his resignation and in breach of the party’s constitution.
But in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants counter affidavit deposed to by Jeremiah Joel, a litigation secretary in the law firm, the party’s leadership averred that contrary to Paragraphs 22 and 23 of the plaintiffs’ affidavit, the NWC approved the deputy national secretary to act in place of the national secretary as provided for in Article 36(2) of the party’s constitution.
“That in the absence of the national secretary, there cannot be a vacuum and the constitution of the party provided for how such vacuum could be filled until the resumption of the national secretary,” they said.
They said contrary to their argument, Anyanwu applied for leave of absence to enable him concentrate on his election as a candidate into Imo governor’s office which took place on Nov. 11.
“It is not correct that 1st, 2nd, 3rd nd 4th defendants ever threatened the national secretary but instead granted him leave of absence to enable him concentrate on his election into the office of Governor of Imo State,” they submitted.
Upon resumed hearing on Tuesday, only INEC was not represented in court.
Plaintiffs’ counsel, Musa, confirmed to court that the commission was duly served on Dec  11, hence, he urged the court to hear their matter.
Mohammed Atolagbe, who appeared for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants, informed the court that they filed their responses to the plaintiffs processes.
He said they relied on the contents in their application and the exhibit attached, including the written address as their argument in the matter.
While adopting their application, Musa said the originating summons had a 24-paragraph affidavit and a written address which he adopted in urging the court to grant their prayers.
He said they also filed a reply affidavit to motion for interlocutory injunction.
After counsel’s adoption of their processes, Justice Ekwo reserved judgment in a date that would be communicated to parties.
NAN reports that Anyanwu was the PDP candidate in the Nov. 11 Imo governorship election, where Sen. Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was re-elected.(NAN)(
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