The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Apo, Abuja, on Thursday affirmed its earlier decision nullifying the expulsion of Senator Buruji Kashamu and others, by their party, the Peoples Democratic Party.
Delivering judgment, Justice Valentine Ashi ruled that although a party had the power to discipline its members, it must follow due process in doing so.
The judge had earlier in a ruling delivered on October 10, 2018, nullified the expulsion of the senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District and others, including the Chairman of Kashamu’s faction of the party in Ogun State, Adebayo Dayo.
The judge had in the said ruling held that the expulsion was unlawful and amounted to a nullity as it was done in flagrant disobedience of a subsisting order of the court made on December 7, 2017.
He held that the court’s violated by the party was restated on January 9, 2018, directing parties not to do anything to jeopardise the hearing of the pending substantive suit.
The court had specifically warned the party against carrying out any disciplinary action against the defendants (Kashamu and Dayo) without first, having recourse to the court.
The PDP had returned to the court by filing a suit marked, FCT/HC/CV/0303/2017, and in which the party prayed the court to, among others, hold that it has the power to discipline its erring members.
Delivering judgment in the suit on Thursday, Justice Ashi agreed with the PDP that it had the power to reprimand or take disciplinary measures, including to bar or expel erring members, but added that the power must be exercised according to due process.
It also held that the affirmation of the party ’s power to discipline its members did not imply that its earlier ruling setting aside the suspension of Kashamu and others, had been reversed.