The crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has taken a new dimension as the Benue State High Court in Makurdi has ordered the National Chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, to stop parading himself as the chairman of the party.
The judge, W. I Kpochi, on Monday, issued an interim injunction restraining Mr Ayu from parading himself as the national chair of the PDP.
The judge issued the order following an ex parte application by a member of the party in Benue State, TerhideUtaan.
Being an ex parte hearing, both Mr Ayu and the PDP joined as respondents to the application and were neither present nor represented by their lawyers in court.
The court order came barely 24 hours after the executive committee of the party at Mr Ayu’s ward — Igyorov Ward in Benue State suspended him.
The order subsists pending the hearing and determination of the motion. “An order of interim injunction restraining the 1st defendant Senator Dr Iyorchia Ayu from parading himself as the National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) having lost membership of the party, pending the hearing and determination of Motion on Notice already filed,” the order reads.
Monday’s court order brings back the memory of how Mr Ayu’s predecessor, Uche Secondus, was forced out of the PDP after he was suspended by the ward and restrained by a court order.
Since May last year, Mr Ayu has been hanging on to his job despite opposition from high-profile members of the party.
Five of the party’s governors, namely Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Mr Ortom demanded his removal as a condition to back Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the PDP.
On 25 February, the party was defeated at the presidential poll, and even Mr Ayu lost his state to the ruling party, APC, and came third behind the Labour Party.
Earlier, Mr Ayu rejected his suspension by the ward Excos, saying they lack the powers to suspend him.