Godwin Irikefe, Abuja
May 15, 2015 – The camp of First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan is currently in disarray following ruling by Justice Valentine Ashi of an Abuja High Court which ordered the embattled former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State, Col. Sam Inokoba (retd), to stop parading himself as chairman pending the determination of the motion on notice.
Inokoba was suspended by the Bayelsa State Working Committee (SWC) of the PDP over allegations of incompetence and ineptitude, including acts of financial impropriety in the diversion of N70million donated to the party by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke for the Bayelsa Presidential rally.
He was said to have pocketed N40 million but only gave out N30 million to the PDP secretariat in Bayelsa State.
But Inokoba described his suspension as a ruse claiming that only the PDP National Working Committee and its chairman, Alhaji Adamu Muazu, 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.
The plaintiffs 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 (Adamu Muazu) and Inokoba were joined as First, Second and third defendants in the suit.
Judgment for the interim order was fixed for March 23 but was adjourned till April 20 because counsel for the defendants were not in Court.
On April 20, the case was again adjourned till (Monday) May 11 because the Court could not sit.
But in his judgment on the definite hearing delivered on (Monday) May 11 but obtained by Judiciary correspondents on Tuesday in Abuja, 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 the state Chairman of the party, Col. Sam Inokoba (retd), must be sacked.
Since his suspension over four months ago, Inokoba has neither gone to the party secretariat nor thought it fit to campaign for the PDP during the just-concluded elections.
Angry over his suspension, he is alleged to have worked against his own House of Assembly candidate, Hon. Tonye Isenah, 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.