A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, restrained the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from suspending Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Rivers State PDP Executive Members, or other protesting governors who constituted the Group of Five (G5), on allegations of anti-party activities in the 2023 general elections. The G5 comprised of Wike, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, and Governor Okezie Ikpeazy of Abia State, who declined supporting Atiku Abubakar as PDP presidential candidate except the National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, resigned.
The presiding Judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, in his judgement, emphasised that the fears of Wike and other members of the PDP were well founded, and that suspending or expelling them will amount to the breach of their rights to freedom of association.
The judge declared that it is in the power of the court to grant redress to persons who have well established acts that would amount to the infringement of their rights.
Justice Ekwo asserted members of political parties cannot be suspended arbitrarily without compliance with the political party’s guidelines.
Wike had approached the court for protection in the aftermath of the “Äyu must resign” crisis in the PDP, and give way for appointment of a southern national chairman, which ultimately culminated in the defeat of the PDP in the presidential election won by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).