Home Inside Africa Nigeria Court says Kawu Baraje splinter group should not operate

Court says Kawu Baraje splinter group should not operate

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Predictably the two contending factions of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have reacted differently over the sealing off of the new secretariat opened by the Baraje faction of the party.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisa Metuh, in a statement in Abuja, said the action was in line with the Abuja High Court injunction of Friday.

The court had held that the Kawu Baraje splinter group should not operate or parade themselves as leaders of the PDP until the hearing of the suit before it.

It affirmed the leadership of the party under the chairmanship of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.

“By the order of the court, no person is authorised by law to open a secretariat or operate under the name, colour and flag of the PDP other than the one led by Tukur.

“The sealing off of the secretariat opened by the Baraje group under the name, colour and flag of the PDP is therefore, in order and in line with the law,” the statement said.

But in their own reaction, the Baraje-led group expressed their disquiet over the development.

A statement issued by the national Secretary of the group, Prince? Olagunsoye Oyinloa, lamented that security forces were mobilised to seal off the office on Saturday.

It argued that the sealing off was based on a non-existent court injunction, which the Alhaji Bamanga Tukur faction claimed to have obtained on Friday.

The Abubakar Baraje-led faction, of the PDP, however, described the closure of its head office in Abuja by the police as the height of impunity.

The statement said: ?The whole world knows that Justice E. Chukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Friday refused to grant Alhaji Bamanga Tukur?s application for an ex parte injunction against our party?s executive.

?The Judge asked parties to maintain the status quo.

?His judgment was a reinforcement of an earlier order of the Lagos High Court which also asked parties to maintain the status quo.

?Now, should Nigerians conclude that Tukur?s interpretation of status quo is this crude display of naked power and undisguised impunity?

?We are not at all surprised at this occurrence given the fact that Tukur issued a statement on Friday evening deliberately seeking to mislead the media and the public that Justice Chukwu granted him an injunction against us.

?We are happy that the ever vigilant Nigerian press ignored him and his falsehood.

?Now, he is not only wilfully disobeying the various courts which have made pronouncements on this matter, he is spicing up his love for impunity with this reckless misuse of state power by misleading the police.

?We call for an immediate removal of the siege to our secretariat.”

Daily Times gathered that a detachment of armed policemen Saturday sealed up the secretariat of the new faction located at Plot 320, off Onyi River Crescent, Maitama.

The Baraje-led new PDP broke away last week during the special convention of the party.

An Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) and police Hilux vehicles were stationed around the building to prevent anyone from entering or leaving the building.

The leadership of the breakaway faction of the party last week told the media that the office of the new PDP would open but refused to give details on the date and the location of the office for security reasons.

The secretariat, with the inscription New Peoples Democratic Party was covered, ready for launch, when policemen invaded the area. All the access roads leading to the building were cordoned off by the security operatives in uniform and mufti.

Earlier this week, Tukur had warned that he was fully in charge and threatened to declare the seats of those that joined the new PDP vacant.

Meanwhile, several reconciliatory meetings held to resolve the crisis in the party had failed to yield positive results.

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