Court sacks Ebonyi PDP chairman

….Declares Onu as Chairman

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, yesterday ruled that Mr Tochukwu Okorie was not validly nominated to contest election for the position of Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi State.
Delivering judgment in the suit filed by Barrister Silas Onu, challenging the election of Okorie , Justice Ahmed Mohammed held that Okorie was indolent in submitting his nomination form and could not be allowed to benefit from his wrong doing.
Justice Mohammed consequently directed the PDP to hold that only Onu was lawfully nominated to participate in the election of Oct. 16, 2021 and to issue him a certificate of return declaring him as the duly elected Chairman of PDP, Ebonyi Chapter.
The court, Justice Mohammed disclosed, found out that the 2nd defendant (Okorie), who submitted his nomination form on Oct. 4, 2021 instead of Oct. 1, 2021, contrary to the guidelines of the conduct of congresses is not validly nominated.


The judge said he (Okorie) was therefore not qualified to contest in the said election of Oct. 16, 2021.
According to the judge, “It is the opinion of this court that the 2nd defendant, who was indolent in submitting his nomination form as provided in the guidelines issued by the PDP, who in spite of this failure, was still declared and returned elected, cannot be allowed to benefit from his wrong doing.”
Justice Mohammed consequently directed the PDP to hold that only Onu was lawfully nominated to participate in the election of Oct. 16, 2021 and to issue him a certificate of return declaring him as the duly elected Chairman of PDP, Ebonyi Chapter.
The judge also granted the prayer asking for a declaration that Okorie was not qualified to participate in the election organized and held by the PDP on Oct. 16, 2021 for failing and refusing to submit his nominanon form on or before the fixed deadline of Oct. 1, 2021.
He also granted the prayer asking for a declaration that the 2nd defendant’s participation in the said election was contrary to the clear and unambiguous schedule for the conduct of state congresses, therefore rendering such participation null and void.
The judge had earlier, dismissed the preliminary objection filed by the PDP where it alleged that Onu did not exhaust the internal mechanisms available for resolving such party matters before heading to court.
The judge also said that the application failed because the PDP was silent on when Okorie submitted his nomination form.
He said that he found the defendant’s failure to deny the allegation of the plaintiff that Okorie submitted his nomination form on Oct. 4 instead of Oct. 1, 2021 as admittance of wrong doing..


“The consequence is that the 2nd defendant’s nomination form submitted on Oct. 4, 2021 instead of Oct. 1, 2021 was submitted out of time”, the judge said
The Ebonyi State chapter of the PDP, it will be recalled, had on Oct. 16, 2021 elected Okorie as its new Chairman.
Okorie polled a total of 1,240 votes to defeat Onu, the former state publicity secretary of the party who scored 260 votes.
However, Onu, who was dissatisfied with the process that led to the emergence of Okorie as chairman of the party in the state, filed a suit challenging the process and listed the PDP and Okorie as defendants.
One of the questions Onu asked the court to determine was whether, upon the failure of Okorie to meet up with the deadline fixed by the PDP for the submission of nomination form, Okorie was qualified to contest the election.

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