Sunday, September 25, 2022

Kano PDP chairman goes to Supreme Court, seeks stay of execution

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Shehu Sagagi, the embattled chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Kano has appealed the judgement of the Court of Appeal, which allowed the constitution of a caretaker committee in the state by the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party.

The chairman also filed for a stay of execution against the appellate court’s decision.

According to the Notice of Appeal obtained by DAILY NIGERIAN on Wedneday, Mr Sagagi said the justices of the Court of Appeal erred in law by holding that a case related to the tenure of office is an internal affair of the party.

Mr Sagagi, through his lawyer Joshua Musa, SAN, said the four years tenure of his client is guaranteed by Article 47(1) of the PDP Constitution as amended in 2017 and recognized by Section 223(1) & (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) which provide for periodic election and tenure of office for officers of a Political Party.

He said his client and his executives were democratically elected in 2020 by the Kano State Chapter of the PDP into the State Executive Committee, Local Government Areas Executive Committees and Wards Executive Committees all of the party to serve a four years tenure of office in Kano State.

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“The threat to truncate the tenures of office of the Appellants which led to the filing of the suit in the trial court is a violation of the Constitution of the 1st Respondent [PDP] and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

“A violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and the 1s Respondent’s Constitution as amended in 2017 cannot be termed internal affair of the 1s Respondent and it is justiciable.

“The court below wrongly supported the violent violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and the 1st Respondent’s Constitution as amended in 2017,” the Notice of Appeal reads.

“The Learned Justices of the Court of Appeal erred in law when their Lordships held that the dissolution of the Executive Committee of the 1s Respondent at all levels in its Kano State Chapter and the appointment of Caretaker Committee members was in accordance with the provisions of Article 31 (2) (e) of the 1s Respondent’s Constitution and thereby wrongly interpreted the said provision,” the second ground of appeal reads.

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The third ground says the justices of the Court of Appeal erred in law by not giving due
consideration to the complaint of lack of fair hearing raised by Mr Sagagi.

Background

Mr Sagagi, who was anointed by former governor Rabiu Kwankwaso to the lead the party in the state, is accused of being loyal to his former party leader, who now defected to the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP.

The National Working Committee, NWC of the PDP had on March 29 dissolved the state, local and ward executive committees of the Kano State chapter of the party and appointed a 6-man caretaker committee as replacement.

On May 25, Justice Taiwo Taiwo issued a perpetual injunction retaining the PDP headquarters from removing Mr Sagagi from office until the end of his tenure in December 2024.

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Justice Taiwo had held that the NWC or any other organ of the party lacked power to dissolve state executives duly elected through congress.

But the Court Appeal on Monday set aside Justice Taiwo’s judgment, saying it was internal affairs of the party and that the party had powers to dissolve the Kano executives.

The three man panel led by Justice Peter Ige unanimously held that the decision of the PDP NWC to dissolve the Executive Committees at all levels in Kano State Chapter of PDP and appointment of Caretaker Committee Members to lead and run activities of the party cannot be challenged in court, as being contrary to the PDP constitution as contended by the 1st – 4th Respondents.

The appellate court further held that the dissolution of the Executive Committees at all levels in Kano State Chapter of the Appellant, and appointment of Caretaker Committee Members was in accordance with the provisions of Articles 31 (2) (e) of the party’s constitution.

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