First Lady's Camp in Shock as Court Okays Suspension of Bayelsa PDP Chairman

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There was celebration galore in the camp of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) loyal to Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa following the judgment of an Abuja High Court which upheld the suspension of the party’s chairman in the state, Col. Sam Inokoba (Rtd).

However, while the Dickson camp is celebration, the camp loyal to the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan is in mourning mood.

The state executive of the party had been polarised between the two camp with each battling each other to take control of the party apparatus, a development that led to the suspension of Inokoba over sundry allegations last year.

Dissatisfied with his suspension, Inokoba approached the Abuja High Court for redress, in the belief that he would not get justice in the state being controlled by his opponents. Bayelsa is the home state of outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan.

However, Justice Valentine Ashi of the Abuja High Court ordered the embattled former chairman, Inokoba, to stop parading himself as chairman pending the determination of the motion on notice which is in Court.

The verdict has since put the camp of the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan and her supporters who are engaged in a dangerous power play in the state in total disarray.

Inokoba was suspended by the State Working Committee (SWC) of the party over allegations of incompetence and ineptitude, including acts of financial impropriety in the alleged diversion of N70million donated to the party by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke for the Bayelsa Presidential rally.

But Inokoba described his suspension as a ruse, claiming that only the PDP National Working Committee and its chairman, AlhajiAdamuMuazu, could suspend him.

Seven members of the Bayelsa SWC of the PDP, therefore went to court seeking among other reliefs, an order of interim injunction restraining Inokoba, his agents, privies, or appointees from either parading himself as Bayelsa State PDP chairman, pending the determination of the motion on notice now pending before the court.

They are Cleopas Moses, Hon. Godspower Kuku, Richard Perekeme, Faith Opene, Alfred I. Atiegha, Numomikari Walter and Ikpi Patterson who sued for themselves and on behalf of Bayelsa SWC of the PDP.

The PDP, its national chairman and Inokoba were joined as first, second and third defendants in the suit.

Judgment for the interim order was fixed for 23rd March but was adjourned till April 20 because counsel for the defendants were not in Court.

On 20th April the case was again adjourned till11th May because the Court could not sit.

But in his judgment on the definite hearing delivered on Monday, Justice Ashi ordered that, “Interim order of injunction earlier granted on March 23 is hereby declared to subsist and shall remain in force as binding on the defendants pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice”.

Major stakeholders in Bayelsa State chapter of PDP had insisted that Inokoba must be sacked.

Since his suspension over four months ago, Inokoba has neither gone to the party secretariat nor got involved campaigns for the PDP during the just-concluded elections.

In anger over his suspension, he worked against his own House of Assembly candidate, Hon. TonyeIsenah, of the PDP in the recently-concluded House of Assembly elections.

Sources in the PDP hinted that by supporting an opposition party’s candidate against his own party, he is bound to face the party’s disciplinary committee.

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