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Politics of Thursday, 1 June 2023


How PDP can suspend, expel Wike, by court

Nyesom Wike Nyesom Wike

The Federal High Court in Abuja has held that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) can either suspend or expel the former Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, in line with due process.

Justice James Omotosho stated this in a judgment on the suit by Wike to stop the PDP from either suspending or expelling him without a fair hearing.

The fundamental rights suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/139/2023 was filed before the last general elections.

Justice Omotosho held that suspending or expelling Wike without the right to defend himself would breach his fundamental rights as enshrined in the Nigerian and PDP constitutions.

The judge held that though the party has the right to suspend or expel its members, it must be legal.

Justice Omotosho further held that although the court will not ordinarily dabble into the internal affairs of any political party, it can be where the right of a member is violated.

He noted that rights are enshrined in the Constitution and are sacrosanct, adding: “Where these rights ought to be enforced, the court will do everything within its reach to ensure this.

“However, as fundamental and sacrosanct these rights are, they are not absolute.”

The judge held that any party member, who appeared before a disciplinary committee, should be allowed to defend himself, or else any decision taken against such a member shall be null and void.

He added: “This court is convinced that the applicant is entitled to a fair hearing and that the respondent also has the right to discipline its members in accordance with the law.”

Justice Omotosho held that Wike has the right to associate and that the threat to dismiss him without inviting him to defend himself contravened Article 57 (1)(2) of the party’s constitution.

He said that the party’s National Chairman and his agents were bound to promote constitutional democracy.