Former National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prof. Wale Oladipo, has asked Buhari and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, to wade into the judicial wrangling trailing the court actions instituted by the party’s warring factions.
In a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, he stated that Buhari should step in to save the judiciary and democracy from the imminent danger of being infiltrated and controlled by politicians.
He spoke against the backdrop of the many conflicting orders and judgments emanating from different divisions of the Federal High Court and the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as they relate to the leadership crisis in the PDP.
The statement said that their intervention to save the judiciary became necessary because, “the judiciary is being infiltrated and controlled by politicians.”
According to the PDP chieftain, “This ugly trend began with the Hon. Justice Mohammed Liman of the Port Harcourt Division of the Federal High Court.
“He granted an exparte order in respect of the same issues and parties on the 23rd of May, 2016, 12 days after the Federal High Court, Lagos, had become obsessed with the matter and made orders which forbade the PDP from conducting any election into the offices of the national chairman, national secretary and national auditor occupied by the 1st (Sheriff), 2nd (Prof. Wale Oladipo) and 3rd Plaintiffs (Alhaji Fatai Adeyanju), respectively, pending the determination of the substantive suit.
“The same court granted an order restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from monitoring and/or recognizing the conduct of any election by the 2nd Defendant/Respondent (PDP) into the offices of the national chairman, national secretary and national auditor pending the determination of the substantive suit.”
Oladipo noted that while Justice Buba decided to return the case file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for administrative action upon being aware of the multiplicity of suits, Justice Liman of the Port Harcourt Federal High Court proceeded to hear the matter and went on to deliver a judgment that further reaffirmed the exparte orders within 40 days.
He said: “Although the undercurrents of the matter have been chronicled in a petition sent to the CJN and the National Judicial Council (NJC) for appropriate disciplinary action, it is disturbing that the same Justice Liman, who is the most senior and the Administrative Judge in the Port Harcourt Division of the court, has not relented in his questionable actions.
“While in the background, he is now using Justice Ibrahim Watila, one of his brother judges in the Port Harcourt Division, to perpetrate some dastardly acts. Just like it was before and after the botched 21st of May, 2016 National Convention, the same parties and issues that are already before the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court are being taken to the Port Harcourt Division for adjudication.
“The court, as presided over by Justice Watila, granted an exparte order, converted it to a Motion on Notice through substituted service, heard the matter within 72 hours and delivered judgment within a week without affording those who wished to be joined as parties the opportunity to do so.
“Having successfully done that without being called to order, the same Justice Watila, is said to be ready to grant another exparte order and curious judgment in the coming days and week.”
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