A legal practitioner, Mr. Ikenga Ugochinyere, has asked a Federal High Court, Lagos, to stop Alhaji Bamanga Tukur from vying for the position of Peoples Democratic Party national chairman in the party’s national convention on Saturday.
The motion was filed at the court on Monday and copies of the process were made available to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday.
Tukur, PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission were listed as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants in the suit.
The Lagos-based lawyer, who also said he is a card-carrying member of the PDP, asked the court to make the order on the grounds that Tukur was not qualified to lead the PDP, having allegedly “failed, and/or neglected to re-activate his membership” in accordance with the party’s constitution, after his expulsion from the party for anti-party activities on May 31, 2001.
According to the plaintiff, Tukur has not been granted a waiver by the National Executive Committee of the PDP “which is necessarily a condition precedent to the conferment of eligibility as a former member seeking to vie for an elective position” of the party.
He urged the court to disqualify Tukur on the basis of his failure to comply with the provisions of Article 10(c) of the PDP constitution.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party may have devised a mean to deal with errant aspirants to its national offices by delaying their screening exercise till Friday.
Our correspondent learnt that the leadership of the party had already contacted all the aspirants concerning the exercise.
In all, 78 aspirants had collected and submitted forms for the 12 available offices.
Out of this number, 11 members are jostling for the office of the national chairman while six are vying for the office of deputy national chairman.
Eleven people are also contesting the office of national secretary; seven for national organising secretary; two for the office of deputy national secretary and 11 for national youth leader.
Four people have also submitted forms to contest the office of national auditor; 10 for national woman leader, eight for national publicity secretary, three for national financial secretary; four for national treasurer while only one is vying for the office of national legal adviser.
Investigations by our correspondent showed that the decision to screen the aspirants on Friday, especially those vying for the office of the chairman, was to make sure that those aggrieved with its outcome would not be able to seek redress in court.
A member of the National Working Committee of the party said, “You know our members know how to obtain frivolous injunctions anyhow. We have to guard against that.”