Impending Destruction Of PDP In Abia State: Time To Step Back From The Brink Before It Is Too Late

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By now, most citizens and residents of Abia State and indeed Nigeria have become aware of the impending implosion and destruction of PDP in Abia State. Newspaper advertorials, publications, Press Conferences/releases and numerous Court cases have emanated and the facts are already in the domain of the general public hence needs no repetition.

However, for purposes of context, we need to reiterate several facts which are not in dispute.


The NWC of PDP scheduled Congresses for election of 3-Man Ward Adhoc Delegates in most States of Nigeria for the 30th day of April 2022. The Congresses could not hold that day because the NWC was restrained by a Court Order from holding its. Subsequently, it was alleged that the Court Order had been vacated and on that basis, the National Chairman and Secretary of PDP jointly signed a letter to INEC rescheduling the Congresses for Wednesday the 4th day of May 2022. On that day the Congress did not hold as well and this is not in dispute.

What is in dispute is that whereas, the majority of faithful party members in Abia State were waiting for the National Chairman and Secretary of PDP to reschedule the Congresses and inform INEC accordingly, an individual and his acolytes simply wrote a list of Adhoc Delegates across the 184 L.G.A.s of Abia State which they are pushing the NWC to accept as the authentic list of Adhoc Delegates in Abia State. The implication is that this individual will singularly determine all 24 individuals who will emerge as candidates for the 24 State Constituencies of Abia State because the having 100% control of the Adhoc Delegates already give him over 40% of the votes for each of the Congresses before the events even hold. Similarly, this individual and his acolytes will determine all eight Candidates of the Party for the House of Representatives, all three Candidates for the Senate and of Course who becomes Governor of Abia State in 2023. Abia State will be in the pocket of one individual if this is allowed to happen. Nothing like this has ever occurred in Abia State before.

Many well-meaning and loyal members of the PDP in Abia State have sounded the alarm about this development. It is inconceivable that an individual who has taken the benefit of the platform of the party wants to leave a legacy of total destruction of the PDP which is what is invariably about to occur because the issues are very clear.

These unconscionable cabal falsely claim that Congresses held in Abia State when every truthful person in Abia State generally and PDP members in particular, know that no Congresses held anywhere in Abia State. In order to give oxygen to their lie, they got the State Chairman of the PDP, Rt. Hon. Alwell Asiforo Okere, Ph.D. to concoct a letter dated the 4th day of May 2022 when the botched rescheduled Congress was initially fixed, addressed to the Resident Electoral

Commissioner of INEC in Umuahia purportedly conveying the list of the

Committee Members to conduct the imaginary Congresses fixed for 6th May 2022. This Notice was purportedly received by the REC on the 5th day of May 2022. In law, Notices take effect on the date they are received. Thus the REC (not INEC) received a day’s Notice of the sham Congress going by the records of the cabal.

All of these are to no effect. The Law is very clear: only the National Chairman and National Secretary of a Political Party can communicate with INEC at their National Headquarters in respect of Congresses, Primaries and Conventions. Neither the State Chairman of a Party or the REC of INEC have any role in the matter and so the said Congresses of the 6th day of May 2022 are dead on arrival and pig-headedly insisting on using the phantom list of delegates will only deal a death-blow to the PDP. In order to better appreciate the issues, it will be necessary to set out the laws and regulations which guide holding of Congresses, Primaries and Conventions.

INEC has been given powers by the Constitution to determine the rules for how political parties should conduct their Congresses, meetings, Primaries and Conventions and have made subsidiary legislation accordingly. These are contained, among others, in the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for Political Party Operations, 2018. The following provisions are apt.

Article 1.1.1 A political party shall give the Commission a statutory 21-day notice before conducting its conventions, congresses or meetings as provided in the Electoral Act (Also contained in Section 82 [1] of the Electoral Act 2022)

1.1.2 The notice shall indicate the purpose, venue, date and time of the convention, congress or meeting.

1.1.3 The National Chairman and National Secretary of the party shall sign the notice of meetings, conventions or congresses and submit same to the Commission.

1.1.4 The notice shall be accompanied by the following documents and submitted to the National Headquarters and relevant State Office of the Commission at least two days before the event:

  • List of planning committee members;
  • List of delegates;
  • List of candidate contesting for any position;
  • Agenda of the meeting;
  • Guidelines for the meeting, congress, primaries or convention;
  • Ten copies of the Constitution of the Party as in the record of the Commission.

                Article 1.2   Rescheduling of Meetings, Congresses or Convention

Where a political party reschedules a meeting, congress or convention, of which it had validly notified the Commission, the party shall give at least 7 days’ notice of the new date.

The power of INEC to make the above Rules, Regulations and Guidelines flows from the Constitution itself. For this reason, the Guidelines are mandatory and noncompliance is fatal. For the avoidance of doubts, we refer to Paragraphs 15 (c) and (f) of the Third Schedule of the Constitution which provides as follows:

“The Commission shall have power to-

(c) monitor the organization and operation of the political parties including their finances;

(f) monitor political campaigns and provide rules and regulations which shall govern the political parties”. 

It is clear that the power to regulate and make rules for political parties, having been derived directly from the Constitution itself, Regulations and Rules make thereto have the same force as Constitutional provisions. Section 82 (5) of the Electoral Act makes clear that violating the Rules as to giving of Notices results in such Congress or Primaries being null and void.

From the foregoing, any Notice of Congress or list of Congress membership panel issued by a State Chairman is a nullity. Even if the Notice of rescheduled meeting was issued by the National Chairman and Secretary of the PDP, the one-day Notice given is a nullity. The highlighted portions of the Regulations above clearly say so. Also, the list of Planning Committee Members should accompany the Notice of meeting issued and signed by the National Chairman AND National Secretary of a Party. The list dated 5th May 2022 communicated to the REC by the Abia State

Chairman of PDP is a nullity. The issue is put beyond doubt by the SUPREME

COURT in the case of AKPATASON V. ADJOTO & ORS., (2019) LPELR- 48119 (SC) where the Apex Court held that political parties are bound by the Constitution of Nigeria, the Electoral Act and its own Constitution/guidelines. The

Apex Court went on to hold that Congresses or Primaries held by the State Executive of a party are null and void. Similarly, the SUPREME COURT in the case of YAR’ADUA & ORS. V. YANDOMA & ORS. (2014) LPELR- 24217

(SC) held that:

“A primary election conducted by the State Executive Committee of a Political Party is not recognized by the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended). Section 87 (4) of the Act vests that power on the National Executive Committee of the party. A primary election conducted by the State Executive Committee of a political party is illegal”, per Peter-Odili, J.S.C.

Clearly in this case, the “business” was done between the Abia State Chairman of PDP and the Abia State REC of INEC. It was a State affair which was why INEC in their letter of 13th May 2022, clearly said the only thing they know about Congresses of PDP in Abia State are the Notification of 30th April 2022 scheduling Congresses for 4th May 2022 when it did not hold. Therefore, as of 13th May 2022, INEC did not take into account or recognize whatever its REC in Abia State purported to have participated in on 6th May 2022.

We have also just heard this evening that a Court order of an Abia State High Court was obtained with a view to allowing the said sham Delegates’ list of 6th May 2022 to be used by the NWC in conducting the Primaries. It is unfortunate that those to whom the fortunes of PDP were entrusted are running from Pillar to post to no effect. Without bothering to engage in interpretation of what the order says or does not say, we wish to point out that a State High Court has no jurisdiction in these matters and such orders are exercise in futility. Section 84 (14) of the Electoral Act 2022 provides as follows:

“Notwithstanding the provisions of this Act or rules of a political party, an aspirant who complains that any of the provisions of this Act and the guidelines of a political party have not been complied with in the selection or nomination of a candidate of a political party for election, may apply to the Federal High Court for redress”.

We know from what has happened in the past in Zamfara and Rivers States as recent examples, that these matters do not end with who prevails at the Congresses and Primaries, but the substantive issues will invariably continue to be litigated afterwards, sometimes up to the Apex Court. Wasting money and resources to enjoy a temporary victory is pyrrhic. Eventually, the Courts will have to look at the issues and determine whether indeed valid Congresses were held in Abia State. If they hold otherwise, everything built on such loose sands will sink and this may happen after  millions, perhaps billions of Naira have been invested by PDP candidates across the State in campaigning and contesting the General elections.

The opposition parties are watching and praying that the PDP will sink into a selfinflicted quicksand. 

Finally, we want to caution that a legacy for posterity which records that an individual was assisted to the highest pedestal in public service only to be responsible for the destruction of that party is not one to be desired.

PDP is on the brink; it is time to step back.

1 COMMENT

  1. […] By now, most citizens and residents of Abia State and indeed Nigeria have become aware of the impending implosion and destruction of PDP in Abia State. Newspaper advertorials, publications, Press Conferences/releases and numerous Court cases have emanated and the facts are already in the domain of the general public hence needs no repetition. However, for […] Continue reading… […]

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