The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, Friday, voided the suspension of Senator Andy Uba, who is also the Chairman, Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
In his ruling, Justice Ahmed R. Mohammed, noted that by the suspension of Andy, his younger brother, Chief Chris Uba and three others, despite being aware of the pendency of a suit that was entered against the party by the plaintiffs, the National Working Committee, NWC, of the PDP, attempted to overreach the powers of the court.
Justice Ahmed’s judgment, also lifted the suspension on the factional Chairman of the party in Anambra state, Chief Ejike Oguebego as well as the suspensions of Benjamin Udeozor and Mrs Anthonia Nwankwu.
“ For all intent and purpose, the 1st defendant was duly aware of the order to appear today to show cause. Does the fact that a defendant is within time to respond to a court summon give it the right to do the same act for which the court asked it to appear before it to give explanation?
“Can a party proceed to render an action before the court a mere academic exercise? Should the court watch helplessly while its authority is desecrated? My answer is No.
“ Court has a duty to safeguard its integrity at all times. The action of the 1st defendant in suspending the plaintiffs despite being aware of the pendency of this suit is a deliberate attempt to overreach this court.
“Any action which has the colouration of sanction against the plaintiffs is interference on the powers of this court.
“In line with the powers imbued on the court by section 6(6) of the 1999 constitution and Order 56 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rule, an interim order is hereby made suspending the suspension of the plaintiffs pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice before the court.
“ I further order that the motion ex-parte be served on the 1st defendant. This case is hereby adjourned till September 5 for the 1st defendant to appear before this court to show cause and for hearing of the plaintiffs’ motion ex-parte,” the court ruled.
Meanwhile, Counsel to the PDP, Chief Clems Ezika, earlier told the court that the party was served with a copy of the plaintiffs’ suit yesterday morning, but upon careful examination of its record, the court said it was satisfied that the party was duly served on Thursday.