Sack Bode George from PDP BoT, party members tell court

A fresh suit has been filed before the Federal High Court in Lagos to contest the propriety of Olabode George’s continued stay in office as member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Two chieftains of the party in Lagos, Badmus Agboola and Dauda Ajadi Atomoh, are insisting in the suit, that George lacked the mandate to remain in office as BoT member, having been convicted for corruption.

Justice Joseph Oyewole, formerly of Lagos High Court, Ikeja, had convicted George on offences relating to fraud committed during his tenure as the Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

The judgment was upheld by the Court of Appeal in Lagos, while the matter is on appeal at the Supreme Court.

But the PDP chieftains are urging the Federal High Court to declare that in view of the defendant being an ex-convict, he is not qualified to occupy the office.

They also joined the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and PDP in the suit.

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The chieftains want the court to determine whether, based on the conviction, the PDP is not obliged to bar George from functioning as a BoT member.

They urged the court to declare that by the combined effect of Section 223 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Section 86 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), INEC cannot ignore George’s occupation of the office in spite of his conviction.

They prayed the court to hold that in view of INEC’s constitutionally-assigned supervisory role over political parties, it is obliged to direct the PDP to remove George as BoT member.

The plaintiffs prayed for an order directing the PDP to bar George from functioning as a BoT member, consider his position vacant and proceed to fill the position in accordance with the stipulations of its constitution.

They further sought the court’s order removing George from the office, as well an order of mandatory injunction compelling INEC to rectify its records pertaining to PDP by deleting George’s name as a BoT member.

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The plaintiffs averred in a supporting affidavit that the PDP BoT is one of the highest organs of the party, which greatly influences the emergence of the party flag bearers for general elections in Nigeria.

“In performing their duty of harmonising the relationship between the executive and legislative arms of government and advising on policies and programmes of government, the members of the National Caucus of the PDP influence the programes of government, since the PDP is currently the ruling party in Nigeria.

“This is an appropriate case in which the first defendant (INEC) ought to exercise its powers under the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act to ensure that the second defendant (PDP) removes the third defendant from the membership of its Board of Trustees and National Caucus, since he is a person of questionable character and integrity.”

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