A Federal High Court, Abuja has fixed May 31 for judgment in a suit filed by Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers praying for an order to restrain the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from expelling him from the party.
Justice James Omotosho fixed the date on Monday after counsel to the governor, Dr Joshua Musa, SAN, and lawyer to the PDP, Johnson Usman, SAN, adopted their processes and presented their arguments for and against the suit.
NAN reports that Wike had sued the PDP, its National Working Committee (NWC) and National Executive Committee (NEC) as 1st to 3rd respondents respectively.
The governor, in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/139/2023, also joined the National Chairman of PDP, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu; National Secretary of PDP, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, and the
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as 4th to 6th respondents respectively.
Wike is praying for an order directing all parties to maintain status quo and stay all actions in the matter relating to the threat to suspend or expel him by the 1st to 5th respondents pending the hearing and determination of the originating motion.
NAN reports that Justice Omotosho had, on Feb. 2, given an interim order against the party and others listed in the face of Wike’s motion dated Feb. 2.
The judge, who extended the restraining order on Feb. 14, held that all parties should maintain a status quo pending the hearing and determination of the suit.
Upon resumed hearing on Monday, Musa informed the court that the matter was adjourned for hearing and he was ready to proceed.
He said that the fundamental right of his client to freedom of association was being breached due to the threat by the respondents to suspend and subsequently expel him from the party, hence, the need to approach the court.
But responding, Usman, who appeared for PDP and others, disagreed with Musa’s submission.
He argued that the case was only based on speculation as Wike had failed to provide any evidence to substantiate that the respondents intended to suspend or expel him from the party.
He said the party had not contemplated suspending or expelling members of the G5 Governors or the Integrity Group.
“We have said that there is no threat to suspend the applicant and the onus is on him to prove this,” he said.