Two chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Hon. Alaye Don Pedro and Dr. Okechukwu Ibeh have approached a Federal High Court in Abuja for an order to prohibit nomination of former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for the post of minority leader in the eighth Senate.
They contended that nomination of the former governor for the position of principal officer of the Senate would be in breach of section 3(2) of the Senate Standing Rule.
In a legal action instituted to stop the South-South Senate Caucus from presenting Akpabio as the minority leader, the two chieftains argued that the former governor was a first timer in the Senate and was by the Senate rule not qualified to hold the office for now.
They applied for order of the court to stop Senate President Bukola Saraki from accepting nomination of Akpabio so as to protect the sanctity of the Senate and the breach of its own laws.
The legal action was instituted on their behalf by Mr. Joel Bankole Akomolafe and has the Senate president, Senator Godswill Akpabio as defendants.
Other defendants in the suit are the 16 other senators that constitute South-South Senate caucus in the Senate.
In a motion ex-parte argued by their counsel yesterday, they asked the court to restrain the defendants from selecting or appointing the minority leader of the Senate by a procedure in breach of order 3 (2) of the Senate Standing Order 2015 as amended pending the determination of their suit.
They also asked for order prohibiting the Senate president from accepting, recognising or appointing the minority leader by a procedure in breach of order 3(2).
In two separate affidavits in support of their motions, they claimed that new members of the Senate were excluded in holding any Senate principal office.
They averred that PDP being a major minority party had zoned the position of the Senate minority leader to the South-South and had been accepted by the South-South Senate caucus.
The plaintiffs averred that PDP took into consideration the ranking of the PDP senators from the zone, and that the South-South Senate caucus is bound to select or appoint the minority leader in compliance with order 3(2).
They also claimed that a larger PDP caucus in the Senate had concluded plans to subvert the mandatory provisions of orders 3(2) by a resolution to appoint minority leader in breach of the Senate law.
A newspaper publication which contained the resolution of the south-South Senate caucus to appoint the Senate minority leader in breach of Order 3(2) was attached for court verification.
The paintiffs averred that the decision to breach order 3(2) on the Senate Minority Leader appointment has cause division within PDP and that they have been adversely affected.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole will rule on the ex-parte motion today.

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