Rivers crisis: Secondus, Omehia, 1 other prominent Gov Fubara’s supporters lose bid to attend PDP’s meetings

On Thursday, the Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed appeals by former PDP Chairman Uche Secondus and two others seeking to overturn an order prohibiting them from attending party leadership meetings.

According to News24 Nigeria, the injunction also affected Celestine Omehia, the dismissed Governor of Rivers, and Austin Opara, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The trio are strong supporters of Rivers Governor Siminalayi Fubara, who is at odds with his predecessor, Nyesom Wike, over control of PDP structures in the big oil-producing state.

However, Justice Inyang Ekwo, in separate judgments, denied the three distinct applications filed by the trio on the grounds that their motions for stay of implementation of the order were wrongfully filed and hence incompetent.

NAN reports that the judge had, on April 5, issued ex-parte orders, which among others, restrain the three PDP chieftains from attending any meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) and/or Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party.

Justice Ekwo restrained them from participating in deliberations or proceedings of the meetings in any manner pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

The restraining orders were made in relation to three substantive suits filed against the three chieftains of the PDP by some members of the party in Rivers State.

NAN reports that the suit against Secondus and seven others, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/440/2024 was filed by Titus Jones.

The second against Omehia and five others, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/436/2024 was filed by Precious Wobisike, while the third, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/438/2024 against Opara and seven others, was filed by Chisa Amadi.

Secondus, Omehia and Opara had applied that the execution of the orders be stayed pending the determination of the appeals they filed, challenging the ex-parte orders.

In the three different rulings on Thursday, Justice Ekwo described the applications as incompetent.

He held that under Order 26(9)(1) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules (FHCCPR) 2019, what Secondus, Omehia and Opara ought to do was to apply to the court to either vary or discharge the orders, not to apply for stay.

The judge said: “By Order 26 (9) (1) of the FHCCPR 2019, it is provided that where an order is made on a motion ex -parte, any person affected by it may, within seven days after service of it, or within such further time as the court shall allow, apply to the court by motion to vary or discharge it.

“The first defendant/applicant ought to have familiarise himself with the provisions of the rules of this court before embarking on this course.

“What any person, who is affected by ex-parte order of the Federal High Court has to do is provided for in Order 26(9)(1) of the FHCCPR 2019.

“There is no law which provides for appeal against ex-parte order of the Federal High Court.

“It is trite that where there is no law in support of a process or action such process or action is considered as abuse of process of court.

“I find that there is no iota of law in support of this application and I so hold.

“The consequence thereof also has been stated by the court in a very steady manner.

“I therefore make an order dismissing this application for being an abuse of process of this court,” Justice Ekwo said in the ruling on the application by Secondus.

Justice Ekwo reached the same conclusions in respect of similar applications by Omehia and Opara.

The judge then adjourned until April 25 for hearing of a pending motions on notice for interim injunctions filed by the plaintiffs in the three cases.

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