The breakaway faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, led by Abubakar Baraje, has described the sealing off of its national secretariat by the Police in Abuja as a “crude display of naked power and undisguised impunity” and called for the “immediate” removal of policemen from the office premises.
Men of the Nigeria Police on Saturday stormed the office complex of the faction group situated in the posh Maitama area of the city and fenced it shut without giving reason for their action.
A statement issued by the national secretary of the PDP faction, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, said the move opposes a court ruling that the status quo be maintained pending the determination of the suits filed by both parties.
“The whole world knows that Justice E. Chukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Friday refused to grant Alhaji Bamanga Tukur’s application for an ex parte injunction against our party’s executive,” Oyinlola’s recalled.
“The Judge asked parties to maintain the status quo. His judgment was a reinforcement of an early order of the Lagos High Court which also asked parties to maintain the status quo. Now, should Nigerians conclude that Tukur’s interpretation of status quo is this crude display of naked power and undisguised impunity?” he queried.
The factional party scribe said that even though the action was a calculated attempt to dampen the spirit of the group’s members, they remained unshaken as they are determined to rescue the party from “lawlessness and crass arrogance”.
“We call for an immediate removal of the siege to our secretariat. We call on the Inspector General of police to order the immediate removal of his men from our office. Doing so, we believe, will serve the interest of justice, rule of law and democracy. Nigeria is a country ruled by law and not by might and force.”
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja Friday refused to grant the prayers of the Bamanga Tukur-led faction seeking to to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from recognizing, dealing and relating with the other faction of the party as national officers and to restrain them from parading themselves as national officers of the party.
Justice Elvis Chukwu however, granted an exparte injunction, putting the defendants- Baraje, Oyinlola and others on notice and subsequently adjourned the case to September 12 for accelerated hearing.