Iyorchia Ayu, Chairman of Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party has been officially removed from his position on Friday, June 2, 2023, following months of internal turmoil within the party.
The PDP had on March 28 announced the appointment of its Deputy National Chairman, Umar Damagum (North), as its acting national chairman.
Damagun took over from Ayu after he was barred by a Benue Court from parading himself as the party’s national chairman.
A High Court in Makurdi, Benue State has affirmed the suspension of Senator Iyorchia Ayu from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and his eventual removal as the party’s National Chairman.
Justice Maurice Ikpambese, who gave the judgement today, said that Ayu did not contest that he did not pay his dues up to date.
The judge said Ayu’s membership of the PDP elapsed with his failure to pay his membership and subscription dues.
It should be recalled that on March 27, 2023, Justice W. I Kpochi, issued an interim injunction restraining Ayu from parading himself as the national chair of the PDP.
The judge issued the order following an ex parte application by a member of the party in Benue State, Terhide Utaan.
Delivering judgement on the suit today, Justice Ikpambese, who is also the Chief Judge of Benue State said, “The first defendant’s (Ayu) membership of the second defendant(PDP) elapsed with his failure to pay his membership and subscription fee.
“The First defendant (Ayu) did not contest his suspension by the Igyorov Ward Executive, neither did he initiate any suit challenging his suspension. He has left the court with no option than to believe that he has consented to his suspension.
“The Plaintiff has therefore proven his case, all the questions for determination have been resolved in favour of the plaintiff, he is entitled to all the reliefs sought. I so order.”
The decision to remove party chairman came after extensive deliberations among the party’s leaders, who ultimately reached an agreement regarding the leadership crisis.
The removal of Ayu as the National PDP Chairman signifies a significant turning point for the party, which has been grappling with internal conflicts and power struggles in recent times.