The counsel for the PDP, Emmanuel Ukala SAN has withdrawn from the appeal instituted by the Rivers State PDP against the Rivers State governorship candidate of Accord, Dumo Lulu-Briggs. Reading a letter from the National leadership of the PDP, Emmanuel Ukala said that he has been debriefed and can no more represent the PDP in the case.
Recall that the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, citing lack of jurisdiction, on December 6, 2022 struck out the suit by the Rivers PDP challenging the eligibility of Accord, its Governorship Candidate and running mate to contest the 2023 general elections in Rivers State.
Not satisfied with the ruling of Federal High Court, the Rivers PDP approached the Court of Appeal but when the case was called today, Monday, January 30, the counsel of the PDP said that he has been debriefed and can no longer represent the party.
Speaking to journalists outside the courtroom, the counsel for Accord, Muhammad Abdullai SAN said:
“This is a proceeding that is an upshoot from the Federal High Court. We won at the Federal High Court. All the suits against us were struck out. The PDP appealed against the rulings and we are here.
“We have filled all processes. We have exchanged briefs. But to our shock this morning, the counsel for the appellant appeared and said that he has been debriefed and all processes resides, perhaps at the National Headquarters of the PDP.
“They have a right to change counsel. It is their constitutional right. We didn’t oppose it and the matter is adjourned to Friday this week. If they are ready, they will brief a lawyer. If we don’t see a lawyer, we will take all necessary steps as provided by law”.
Reacting to the situation, the Director, Media and Communication of the Dumo Lulu-Briggs Governorship Campaign Council, Sotonye Ijuye-Dagogo said that the dropping of Emmanuel Ukala may not be unconnected with the recent public notice by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP disapproving the practice of lawyers appearing in court purporting to be representing the party without the approval of the National Legal Adviser of the PDP, saying that the practice was “unacceptable as it raises serious issues bothering on professional misconduct”.
Sotonye Ijuye-Dagogo said:
“Recalled that the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP in a recent circular frowned at the habit of state chapters of the party going to court without reference to the National Legal Adviser, saying that it was against the party’s Constitution. This has thrown a spanner in the works for Governor Wike and the Rivers PDP who for fear of a free, fair and credible election, are running around the courts seeking judgements to disqualify all other political parties, apart from the PDP”.
Deputy Director, Media and Communication
Dumo Lulu-Briggs Governorship Campaign Council.