Rivers PDP counsel withdraws legal services

Mr Ferdinand Orbih (SAN), counsel to Peoples Democratic Party in the political matter involving PDP, All Progressives Congress and Independent National Electoral Commission in Rivers State, says he has withdrawn his legal services to the party.

Orbih, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, announced his withdrawal on Wednesday in Port Harcourt during the Court of Appeal sitting.

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.

“My name is on the applications; withdrawal of appearance and not a withdrawal of any application.

“If there is the need to contribute, I will. I am not a frivolous person,” he said.

Mr 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.

“There must be a consequence of his withdrawal,” they said.

Ruling on the issue of withdrawal, Justice Ali Gumail, the lead judge, said it was the SAN’s constitutional right; ‘‘there is no urgency in this matter.”

The court adjourned until February 13, for pending motions to enable PDP to get a replacement for Orbih.

The SAN told reporters outside the courtroom that there was “no” undercurrent to his withdrawal, adding that he had his “professional philosophy.”