As Ararume Returns To PDP: Matters Arising – By John Mgbe


Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the controversial governorship election of 2007 in Imo State has finally retuned to the party.

Senator Ararume dumped PDP and defected to the All Congress of Nigeria (ACN) after a protracted but failed election suit to sack Ikedi Ohakim and reclaim victory in the election. Chief Ifeanyi Ararume rejoined the PDP on Tuesday, December, 31st, 2013 in an event that was marked with pomp and ceremony at the State Headquarters of the PDP on Okigwe Road, Owerri. Senator Ararume who returned to the party with a large following of his supporters was accorded a rousing and red-carpet reception by the State PDP EXCO and members in IMO State.

The ceremony was attended by the entire State EXCO  and a large number of  PDP members and people from various  walks of life .Some of the top party dignitaries who  were present on the occasion include the Deputy Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Hon Emeka Ihedioha, Senator Arthur Nzeribe  and his wife, Hon Bethel Amadi, member Federal House of Representatives and Speaker West African Parliament, Senator Hope Uzodimma, DR Kema Chikwe, National Women Leader of PDP, South East zonal Chairman of PDP, Col. Eze Akobundu(Retd), the outgoing State Chairman of the party and now National Chairman of the National Population Commission(NPC),Barr EZE Duruiheoma, the State Legal Adviser, Imo State PDP, Barrister C.O.C. Akaolisa and an array of very prominent  dignitaries from various walks of life.

Addressing the large crowd, an elated and upbeat Ifeanyi Ararume said that that he would use his resources to facilitate victory for PDP in the 2015 election in Imo State. He described PDP as an epitome of democracy and added that his return to the PDP family was in the best interest of all Nigerians as well as his own contribution to the call to build strong democratic institutions in Nigeria. He appealed to the Imo electorate to join hands with the PDP in its desperate effort to extricate Imo State from the stranglehold of some evil men who lack vision but who have hijacked Imo State for their own aggrandizement and enrichment. He said that that he had turned over his political structure, Destiny Organization, to the PDP.

In a GSM chat with the State Legal Adviser of PDP in Imo State, Barrister C.O.C. Akaolisa, he confirmed to me  that  Senator Ararume  returned to the PDP on Tuesday,31st, December.2013.Hear Barrister Akaolisa:”Yes, it’s true. Ararume returned to the PDP on Tuesday, December, 31st, 2013.It was a great way of ending the year and embracing a new year .The ceremony was attended by members of the State EXCO as well as PDP members and a large number of people from various walks of life. You recall that Ararume left the party as a result of the injustice meted out to him in the 2007 Governorship election in Imo State. What happened was the height of injustice and a barefaced act of anti-party activity against a fellow member of the party. That injustice must be redressed. A situation where the then President, Chief Obasanjo, arrived Imo State with the National Exco and declared that the PDP did not have a candidate in the  election was a barefaced act of anti-party activity. This obnoxious decision was handed out on the party, in spite of the judgment of the Supreme Court that Ararume was the governorship candidate of the PDP in that election. A situation where members of a political party were asked to vote against a member of the party is very absurd and reeks of dictatorship. This kind of imposition is not known to democracy; it’s the height of anti-party act and the party must take cognizance of this now that Ararume has returned to the party. The fact that Ararume has returned to the party in spite of that provocation shows that he is a good man. As the State Legal Adviser of the party, I will advise that this injustice meted out to Ararume should be revisited with a view to have it redressed because he who goes to equity must go with clean hands. Now that Ararume is back to the party, it behooves the party to ensure that whatever rights that are due to him and his supporters are given to them in full without any reservations. The party will make further clarifications on this development as events unfold”. Those were the words of Barrister C.O.C.Akaolisa.

In the next few days, I will make effort to seek the opinion of Barrister C.O.C Akaolisa on a number of issues such as how this decision of Ararume will affect his governorship petition against the INEC in the Court of Appeal, Owerri as well as the PDP/Ohakim joinder suit on the governorship election which is pending in the Supreme Court. Although I am not an attorney at Law, it would appear to me that with this decision of Ararume to defect to the PDP even when his election petition case is pending in the Court of Appeal, Owerri, Senator Ararume appears not to be interested in pursuing the election petition suit any longer. On a related note, it also appears to me that if Senator Ararume withdraws from the suit, it will automatically render the PDP/OHAKIM petition for joinder nugatory and irrelevant. Since Ohakim and PDP are asking to be joined in the election petition originally filed by Senator Ararume and ACN, will they still have the plank to stand now that Ararume and ACN have backed out of the suit? This observation becomes pertinent for the reason that the PDP and Ikedi Ohakim had earlier exhausted their chances on this suit by processing their petition in the Tribunal, the Court of Appeal, Owerri and the Supreme Court and lost in all the three courts. It was the revered Lord Dening who said in Mcfoy Vs UAC LTD that “You cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stay there: it will collapse” .The plank on which the  PDP/OHAKIM  joinder suit  in the  Supreme Court is standing is  the Ararume’s  Election petition in the Federal HIGH COURT, Owerri and  now in the Court of Appeal,Owerri, otherwise they would not have gone back to the  court on this issue, having exhausted their  opportunities as elucidated above. Now that Senator Ararume has pulled that plank away, on which plank will their suit now stand? It appears to be a case of putting something on nothing and which will eventually fall or collapse. So, the bottom line of my argument is that Governor Okorocha may have gained a temporary relief as both suits (Ararume and PDD/OHAKIM) may now be struck out from both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. As stated above, in the next few days we shall seek the legal opinion of attorneys at Law on the possible ramifications of this development.

John Mgbe



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