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Friday, April 19, 2024

Judge Handling PDP Chairman Ayu Removal Suit Returns File to Chief Justice of Benue

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MAKURDI, Nigeria – The State High Court in Makurdi has adjourned the hearing of a suit seeking to remove the embattled national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Iyorchia Ayu, until April 28, 2023.

Presiding Judge Justice Kpochi announced that he would be returning the case file to the Chief Judge of Benue State for reassignment to another judge, as he will embark on a national assignment at the election petitions tribunal.

The decision was made during the hearing of the case on Monday. Counsel to Senator Ayu, J.J Usman, SAN, informed the court that he was withdrawing Ayu’s preliminary objection and counter-affidavit to the suit filed on April 3, 2023.

Lead counsel to the plaintiff, Utaan, Emmanuel Ukala, SAN, did not object to the withdrawal but requested the court to award costs against Ayu, stating that the plaintiff was prepared for a hearing of the substantive suit.

Ukala, SAN, also explained that the defendants had only served him fresh processes while in court and he would need time to respond.

He further noted that both counsels had agreed to hear the preliminary objection and counter-affidavit alongside the substantive suit on April 28, 2023. Ayu’s counsel, J.J Usman, SAN, confirmed Ukala’s submission.

After considering the counsels’ submissions, Justice Kpochi adjourned the case to April 28, 2023, for the hearing of the substantive suit.

On March 27, 2023, Justice Kpochi had issued an interim order restraining Senator Iyorchia Ayu from parading himself as the National Chairman of the PDP, pending the hearing and determination of Suit No. MHC/85/2023.

The suit was filed by party member Conrad Utaan, who sought to remove Ayu as National Chairman following his suspension by Igyorov ward executive members, who had passed a vote of no confidence in him just two days prior.

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