A Federal High Court in Abuja friday turned down a request by the Bamanga Tukur-led Peoples Democratic Party to stop the breakaway faction, chaired by Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, from operating.
The court held that it did not notice any negligence on the part of the new faction in filing its processes and entering an appearance to warrant the granting a restraining order against the party.
After refusing the application to stop the Baraje faction, Justice Elvis Chukwu said that he would hear the suit by the Tukur-led PDP together with the preliminary objection filed by the Abubakar Kawu Baraje group.
The Baraje faction is challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit filed by against by the Tukur-faction.
The Tukur faction had last Thursday asked the court to grant an order of status quo pending when the suit he brought seeking to restrain the Baraje's faction from parading itself as the recognized faction of the party.
The court later adjourned till September 20 for hearing of the substantive suit.
The Baraje faction had however prayed the court to strike out the suit brought by Tukur on the grounds that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain same.
Tukur and 11 national officers of the PDP had last week through an ex parte motion asked the court to stop Baraje, Dr. Sam Jaja, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar from parading themselves as the national executives of the party.
At the first hearing, the court then ordered the Tukur faction to put the Baraje group on notice, and fixed yesterday to hear the suit.
In the preliminary objection, the Baraje group said that the subject matter of the suit had to do with domestic affairs of the PDP and that the suit should have been brought before a state or Federal Capital Territory high court, instead of the Federal High Court.
Their lawyer, Ahmed Raji, SAN had argued that the Tukur's suit was incompetent and that the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear it.
He said that the subject matter revolved around the domestic affairs of Peoples Democratic Party.
He added that it was a matter within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal High Court.
He cited section 251 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) in support of his claim.
According to him, “the subject matter herein is not cognizable under section 251of the 1999 Constitution, and this Honourable Court does not have the jurisdiction to entertain it."
He however asked the court for “an order striking out the suit in its entirety for lack of jurisdiction."
Raji further prayed the court to first hear and determine the issue of jurisdiction before entertaining the substantive suit, but counsel to Tukur group, Tochukwu Onwugbufor, SAN, asked the court to grant an interim order directing the two parties to maintain the status quo.