Federal High court sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, rules that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has the right to suspend or expel former Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
Gatekeepers News reports that the presiding Judge, James Omotosho delivered judgment in the suit filed by Wike against the PDP.
Wike, had in a suit, asked the court to order the PDP to maintain the status quo and stay all actions relating to the threats to suspend or expel him.
The suit was filed amid a crisis in the opposition party which made Wike and his allies exclude themselves from the campaign activities of Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate.
On February 2, the presiding judge ordered that all parties in the suit maintain peace and not take any action or step that may make the outcome of the motion “nugatory and worthless”.
On February 14, Omotosho extended the order restraining the PDP from suspending or expelling Wike.
On Wednesday, Omotosho in his ruling, held that suspending or expelling Wike from the party without affording him the right to defend himself was contrary to the provisions of PDP’s constitution and the 1999 constitution (as amended).
The presiding judge said the expulsion or suspension of party members must be done in accordance with the party’s law.
The judge said the court would not dabble into the internal affairs of any political party, except where the right of a member had been violated.
“Where this right ought to be enforced, the court will do everything within its reach to ensure this,” he said.
“However, as fundamental and sacrosanct these rights are, they are not absolute.”
The presiding judge added that any member of a political party who appeared before a disciplinary committee should be given the opportunity to defend himself.
“And if not, any decision taken shall be null and void,” he said.
“This court is convinced that the applicant is entitled to a fair hearing and that the respondent also has the right to discipline its members in accordance with the law.”
The judge said Wike had the right to associate and that the threat to expel him without inviting him to defend himself contravened article 57 (1)(2) of the party.