Hearing in the Appeal filed by former National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Uche Secondus, was on Monday stalled at the Supreme Court.
Secondus is challenging the rulings of both the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt and a High Court of Rivers State which upheld his suspension from the PDP by his ward.
At the hearing of the appeal on Monday, lawyers announced appearances for the 1st to 11th respondents in the case, with the exception of the 8th respondent, who happens to be a chieftain of the PDP in the South South geopolitical Zone, Chief Dan Orbih.
His lawyer at the appellate court hearing, Chief Godwin Obla, SAN, however wrote the apex court, stating that he has not been briefed by Orbih in respect of the appeal at the apex court.
Reacting, Secondus’ lawyer, Mr Oba Maduabuchi, SAN protested the development claiming that Orbih was not sued by his client but that the defendant imposed himself on the excuse of being Zonal Chairman of PDP.
He sought to move a motion for substituted service to enable him serve the defendant with all court processes through the PDP Zonal office.
Responding, presiding Justice of the five man panel of the apex court declined to proceed and rather adjourned till Tuesday fixed for hearing of all pending applicants in respect of the matter.
Apart from Dan Orbhi, other defendants in the appeal are Ibeawuchi Ernest Alex, Dennis Nna Amadi, Emmanuel Stephen, Umezurike Onuoha, Godwin Pepple Manfred, PDP, Senator Suleiman Nazif, Hon Solomon Ejike Ogbonna, Hon Uche Emmanuel Minukwa and Senator Samuel Nnaemeka Anyawu.
Some members of the party had on August 23, instituted a suit marked: PHC/2183/CS/2021 at the High Court of Rivers State, praying the court to affirm Secondus suspension by his ward.
The applicants had specifically asked the court to stop Secondus from parading himself as the PDP chairman based on the suspension at his ward.
The court subsequently restrained Secondus from performing the functions of the office of the National Chairman of the PDP.
Dissatisfied, Secondus approached the appellate court to reverse the orders of the trial court, demanding that his suspension be declared illegal and the party be prevented from holding its October 30 and 31 conventions unless he was allowed to preside over the exercise.
But the three-man panel of the appellate court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, dismissed the suit for lacking in merit.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole, who delivered the ruling of the panel held that Secondus’ suit was an after-thought and abuse of the court process.
While blaming the former National Chairman for not acting when his ward and local government suspended him then, the appellate court ordered the PDP to proceed with its planned convention.