Law News
Tukur Resurfaces, Asks Court to Give Him Back His Job as PDP Chairman

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The suit seeking to sack the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Adamu Mu’azu, took a new twist on Wednesday as the immediate past chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, approached the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, seeking an order to recognise him as the chairman and permitting him to preside over the forthcoming national convention of the party.

Tukur also wants the court to grant an order allowing him to preside over the affairs of the party until 2016 when his tenure as the party’s national chairman will expire.

Tukur’s position was contained in a counter-claim he filed at the registry of the court on Wednesday through his counsel, Adamson Adeboro.

The counter-claim was a response to a suit instituted by House of Representatives aspirant in Adamawa State, Aliyu Abuba Gurin, seeking to unseat the present national chairman of the party, Adamu Mu’azu and also stop the party’s planned delegates convention.

The trial judge, Justice Evoh Chukwu, will today hear Tukur’s request.

Tukur had said he was forced to resign his post as the national chairman of the party in order for the seven defected governors to come back to the party.

Tukur had further revealed that following the defection of the seven PDP governors to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2013, pressure was mounted on President Goodluck Jonathan to remove him to enable the governors return to the party.

In the counter claim filed yesterday, Tukur is asking the court for an order setting aside his purported resignation letter dated January 15, and reinstate him as the substantive and duly elected chairman of the party at its national convention in 2012 until the completion of his term in 2016.

He also wants the court to restrain the PDP and INEC from further recognising, permitting or allowing Mu’azu to preside over the affairs of the party.

He further wants the court to declare that his resignation was null and void and that the appointment of Mu’azu by the NEC of the party was also null and void being inconsistent with Section 45(1) and (2) of the party constitution.

He had earlier asked the court to determine whether his purported resignation complied with Section 47(5) of the PDP’s constitution as amended.

Tukur also asked the court to decide whether if his purported resignation did not comply with Section 47(5) of the PDP’s constitution will not render the resignation null and void?

The counter-claimant also wants the court to decide whether the appointment of Mu’azu was not in contravention of Section 45(1) and (2) of the party constitution, Section 85(3) of the Electoral Act, 2010 and Section 223(1) of the 1999 Constitution.

In the original suit,  the plaintiff is asking the court to stop the planned national convention of the PDP scheduled for December 10 and 11.

The plaintiff in the suit also contended that the resignation of Tukur did not comply with the provision of Section 47(5) of the constitution of the party which stipulates that a 30 days notice be given to the National Executive Committee (NEC) by Tukur.

The defendants in the suit are the PDP, Alhaji Tukur, Mu’azu and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In a seven-paragraph affidavit in support of the counter claim deposed to by one Femi Ekperobe, Tukur averred that he had stepped aside as the chairman of the party for the defected governors to return but to his surprise, 10 months after, the governors are yet to return.

He also averred that in the situation which he could not finish his four year tenure as the chairman of the party, he is to hand over to the deputy national chairman as acting chairman, in line with constitution of the party pending the holding of a national convention to elect a new national chairman.

Tukur further stated that the NEC of the party has no power to appoint the national chairman, adding that the votes and proceedings of NEC held at Wadata House on January 15 and 20 which deliberated on his resignation as national chairman and appointment of Mu’azu as chairman are nullity.

He further added that even if he had submitted a letter of resignation on January 15 to the party, the letter did not comply with Section 47(5) of the party’s constitution which requires that a 30 days prior notice should be given.

Furthermore, Tukur stated that the subsequent presentation of Mu’azu to NEC as the new chairman for appointment did not comply with Section 47(6) of the party constitution, Section 85(3) of the Electoral Act, 2010 and Section 223(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

Also, he stated that as at the time of appointment of Mu’azu as the national chairman of the party, no vacancy existed in the office of the national chairman.
He further stated that Mu’azu lacked the power to preside over the planned convention as such will nullify the proceedings of the convention if allowed to do so.

He, however, submitted that it would be in the interest of all parties if the status quo ante bellum was maintained pending the election of a new chairman by the national convention.

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