PDP: Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi, 6 others contest suspension, insist action invalid
Senator Suleiman Uthman Hunkuyi and 6 others have dragged the Kaduna State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, before the National Vice Chairman, North-West Zone of the party, challenging their suspension.
They are challenging the powers of the caretaker committee that set up the 7-man disciplinary committee, to investigate them.
Recall that Senator Suleiman Uthman Hunkuyi, Hon. Hashim Garba, Dr Mato Dogara, Ibrahim Lazuru, Dr John Danfulani, Lawal Imam Adamu and Ubale Salmanduna were suspended by the Kaduna State PDP caretaker committee over alleged anti-party activities and asked to face a 7-man disciplinary committee.
Dr John Danfulani, who signed the joint appeal on behalf of other suspended members, addressed to the Chairman, North-West Zonal Working Committee, (National Vice Chairman North-West Zone) of the party, said it was pursuant to Section 61 (1) of the PDP Constitution.
The section stated that any member of the party who is aggrieved by a decision taken against him by any of the organs or officers of the Party, shall have the right of appeal to the immediate higher organ of the party within fourteen days of the decision.
Senator Suleiman Uthman Hunkuyi and 6 others said they were denied the opportunity to defend themselves and that the decision of the purported SWC of 16th May, 2020 were untenable before the law in view of the fact that what was presently on ground in Kaduna State was a caretaker committee.
The alleged suspected members said that a caretaker committee lacked powers to appoint/constitute a disciplinary committee.
A letter from the alleged suspected members’ lawyer, IB Ahmed and co, and addressed to the Chairman of the 7-Man disciplinary committee and PDP Chairman Kaduna State Working Committee, said that his clients will not honour the invitation of the disciplinary committee.
He said that it was against the subsisting court order and the quarantine law set up by both the Federal and State government was against any gathering.
According to the letter which was received and acknowledged by the Secretary of the disciplinary committee, Simon Arabo, the counsel to the suspended members urged the committee to take notice that they may be undermining the Order of the Court issued on the 19th March, 2020 against the party to call for a meeting when they know that they will inescapably be discussing issues that are before the Court of law in suit No KDH/Z/78/2020 between Gambo Bala and 5 others vs the National Chairman, PDP and 6 others.
He further explained, “It will amount to contempt of court for you to write and for any person to attend a meeting to discuss on issues or matter that is a subject of litigation pending before the court.”
He noted that for the avoidance of doubt, Court Orders are meant to be obeyed and by virtue of section 287(3) of the 1999 constitution, as amended, the clients (7 of them) are bound by interim Court Order of the High Court 1, Zaria issued on 19th March, 2020.
He said in view of the above stated fact, “it won’t be wrong and may amount to contempt of court to lure or threaten the clients into unlawful disobedience of the Order of the Court when they invited them to an unholy meeting and they attend and to be heard, making presentations in their defence regarding or reference to the 14th March, 2020 ward Congresses and others before the disciplinary committee, invariably touching on issues that are the subject matter of dispute before the Court.”
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