PDP counsel in Rivers withdraws legal services

The counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party in the political matters involving the PDP, APC and INEC in Rivers state has withdrawn his legal services to the party

– The counsel, Ferdinand Orbih, made the disclosure on Wednesday, February 6
– Orbih, a senior advocate of Nigeria, says his withdrawal from the political matter is personal
Ferdinand Orbih (SAN), counsel to Peoples Democratic Party in the political matter involving the PDP, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Rivers, has withdrawn his legal services to the party.

Orbih announced his withdrawal in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, February 6, during the Court of Appeal sitting, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

Reports gathers that he said his withdrawal from the political matter was personal and on
“compassionate ground”.

The SAN had on February 5 argued that the court should not entertain APC’s appeal against the judgment of Justice Kolawole Omotosho of the Federal High Court Judgment of January 7 barring APC from presenting candidates for the general elections
Orbih had argued that APC brought the lower court record of proceeding directly instead of the court registrar.

Orbih said that his withdrawal did not affect the applications he had filed before the court.

He said: “My name is on the applications; withdrawal of appearance and not withdrawal of any application. If there is the need to contribute, I will. I am not a frivolous person.

Prince Azunda and Mustapha Ibrahim, counsel to APC, argued that there should be “consequence for the withdrawal”.

They contended that Orbih’s withdrawal amounted to a defeat of his applications.

According to them, there must be a consequence for his withdrawal.
Ruling on the issue of withdrawal, Justice Ali Gumail, the lead judge, said it was the SAN’S constitutional right; saying ‘‘there is no urgency in this matter”.

The court adjourned till February 13, for pending motions to enable PDP to get a replacement for Orbih.
The SAN told reporters outside the court room that there was “no” undercurrent in his withdrawal, adding that he had his “professional philosophy.”

Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rejected alleged moves by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to accommodate candidates of the
All Progressives Congress (APC) in the general elections in Rivers state.

The commission’s national commissioner and chairman of information and voter education committee, Festus Okoye, hinted that due to certain circumstances, elections in Rivers state may be postponed to accommodate the APC.

Recall that the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt had, in two separate rulings, voided the primaries through which candidates of the APC for the various elective offices emerged.

However, the PDP in a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the INEC’s move to admit APC candidates to the election was distasteful.

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