Still On Nasarawa PDP Crisis: Ewuga, Elayo, Onawo Slam Orogu For Castigating Judge

BY VICTORIA IKEANO

A former minister, Barrister Musa Elayo and former Speaker of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly who was also a two-term member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Mohammed Onawo have denounced the state Caretaker Committee chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Francis Orogu for castigating an Akwanga High Court over his judgement nullifying the ward and local government congresses held in March.
Reacting to Justice Mustapha Ramat’s declaration which was given on Thursday, May 28, Hon. Orogu had said that the judge “deliberately ignored a clear case of forgery even when the authors of the genuine document swore to an affidavit in his own court disowning the purported Appeal Panel Report he (Justice Ramat) did not only relied on to grant all reliefs sought by the plaintiffs but also gave judgement on issues that were not before his Court”.
He described the judgement as “an attempt to disorganize the party in Nasarawa state which has been the primary intention of the sponsors of this unnecessary stage-managed crisis” According to him the Caretaker Committee would resist politically, “any attempt to distract our attention on the right trajectory” while urging “genuine and honest members to remain calm and be vigilant on the activities of fifth columnists among us who are well known”. The chairman added that the party would appeal against the judgment.
Reacting to Orogu’s comments, Barrister Elayo who was also once a House of Representatives member, stated, “Is this how to react to a court judgment? You see, if you are going on Appeal you are going before a court … and you may also appear before the same court seeking for some reliefs. When I read his press statement, I felt sorry for our party… The court is not an organ of the party. It only operates if a party approaches it asking for some reliefs. So, you need not take on it … After all, the court can only give judgment for one party against the other… and it can go either way… So, if it does not favour you, you go on Appeal… but not to castigate the judge. And to say you will not obey the judgment… There are consequences for disobeying court orders”.
In his own reaction Hon. Onawo who was also the running mate to the party’s flag bearer in the 2019 governorship election (Hon. David Ombugadu) said in a telephone chat with this correspondent, “I think Orogu’s reaction to the judgement is based on ignorance. If he knows the tenets of the law, there was a court order that says status quo should remain and anything that is done after that should be a nullity and that is exactly what the court affirmed because anything that is done after the court order was issued is definitely a nullity and so the constitution of a Caretaker Committee is a nullity. So, the court has not done anything that it is not supposed to do. Let him go back and consult his lawyers so they can tell him the true position of things”.
Senator Solomon Ewuga, another former minister and first deputy governor of Nasarawa State simply remarked, “Let us work with the law”.

Hon. Orogu asserted that the court has no powers to remove him from office because the Caretaker Committee was appointed by the National Working Committee of the PDP in accordance with the party’s constitution. The national headquarters of the PDP extended the tenure of the state executive by three months following its inability to conclude its state congress before expiration of its tenure on May 10 owing to the novel coronavirus pandemic that put a hold on political gatherings and activities at national and state levels. Beside Nasarawa state, 21 other state chapters of the PDP enjoyed similar extension for same reason.

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