PDP Leaders Exposing Nigeria To Ridicule, Says Ex-Gov Oyinlola
Former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola has faulted the position canvassed by the South-west zonal caretaker committee chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Isola Filani which declared the position of the party’s National Secretary vacant; describing the assertion as disappointing, illogical, pedestrian and unfortunate in view of its legal implications and attendant obvious violation of the party’s constitution and disrespect for the rule of law.
A statement captioned ‘’The Virtue of Democracy’’ released in Abuja on Thursday and signed by Mr. Femi Adelegan, the Principal Secretary to the former national secretary indicated that there is ample evidence that the code of conduct of the PDP makes it imperative for true lovers of the party to refrain from actions that could make a mockery and nonsense of all the principles and values to which the party lays claim as the foremost and biggest democratic party in Africa.
It expressed shock and disbelief at the statements credited to Chief Filani, whose media statement is at best one of the sad episodes that have evidently been provoked by his inability to advance finish solutions in his esteemed office of zonal chairman, at a time concerned leaders of the PDP are searching for viable options for just, equitable and reasonable solutions to the current political crises bedeviling the party. It added that such media statements could only undermine PDP’s moral fabric and corrode the democratic ideals of the party and respect for laws and regulations.
Accordingly, the statement added that it would definitely profit all lovers of democracy to abstain from making statements and acting in a manner that could be construed as engaging in a culture of deceit and cynicism that could expose not only the PDP, but also Nigeria to the ridicule of other political parties and the civilized world. The statement attributed to Chief Filani is certainly not an articulation of the stand of loyal and honest party members who respect truth, and dispassionate consideration and application of party rules and regulations. Given the colouration painted by Chief Filani, it is pertinent to put the records straight.
It is true that a motion was filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos, which ordered the nullification of the South-west zonal congress of the PDP held in Osogbo in March, 2012. But Oyinlola was never produced by the said South-west zonal congress of the PDP as this is against the spirit of the constitution of the party. Shortly after, the recently dissolved National Working Committee of the PDP examined the court ruling obtained by a faction of the party in Ogun State and decided to appeal the decision of the Federal High Court, which ordered the nullification of the South-west zonal congress cited above. It was a common position adopted by all members of the sacked NWC, who believed that the PDP constitution was misinterpreted by the Federal High Court presided over by the Hon. Justice Archibong, as Oyinlola never emerged from the South-west congress and was not sponsored by the zone.
For the purpose of clarification, two suits (FHC/L/CS/347/2012 of 27th April, 2012 and FHC/CS/282/2012) filed by the Plaintiffs at the Federal High Court, Lagos, had nullified the South-west Zonal Congress; from which the Plaintiffs (Ogun State faction of the PDP headed by Engr Adebayo Dayo) erroneously claimed that the PDP National Secretary and the National Treasurer emerged. Convinced that the suits were an abuse of court process and a violation of the party’s constitution, the PDP challenged the decision at the Court of Appeal, Lagos Judicial Division. Satisfied that the PDP and Oyinlola had merit in their averments, the Court of Appeal, Lagos Judicial Division, in its ruling delivered on the 25th June, 2012, granted the PDP National Headquarters and by implication, Olagunsoye Oyinlola a stay of all proceedings predicated on Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1241/11. In curious moves however, the PDP national headquarters, immediately after the Federal High Court, Abuja ordered Oyinlola to vacate his office, withdrew all the motions for appeals filed on Prince Oyinlola’s behalf by the party, thus making it impossible for the stay of execution earlier granted by the Court of Appeal, Lagos Judicial Division to be sustained.
However, the Ogun State PDP went before a Federal High Court, Abuja presided over by Justice Abdu Kafarati which in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/504/2012, delivered on January 11, 2013, nullified Oyinlola’s election as the National Secretary. Oyinlola appealed for a stay of execution of the Kafarati judgement but this was not granted by the Learned Judge. The former National Secretary, in exercise of his fundamental human rights, therefore, appealed against the Federal High Court ruling at the Court of Appeal, Abuja Judicial Division. The matter is still pending before the Appeal Court and this must be the reason why the acting National Publicity Secretary of the Party has informed the press that it is subjudice. In fact one of the issues being contested by Oyinlola is whether the Federal High Court, Abuja, presided over by Hon. Justice Abdu Kafarati had the power to set aside a subsisting ruling of the Court of Appeal, a superior court which granted a Stay of Execution on the same matter.
Oyinlola is a loyal party member who has always had great respect for law and order within the party and the country at large. He has consistently acted responsibly at all times to match his actions. Oyinlola’s actions in this matter are not only to safeguard his rights and interests but also to prove the sanctity and inviolability of the PDP constitution, the rule of law and that the PDP must operate as the model of a healthy party that is democratically organized, well disciplined and totally dedicated to justice and fair play. The unassailable truth is that Oyinlola was validly elected at the national convention of the PDP held in Abuja on March 24, 2012, and is so recognized, even by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
While noting the inalienable right of the National Executive Council of the PDP to make rules on matters pertaining to party elections, it must also be recognized that all PDP rules are subject to the constitution of the PDP which is supreme to any other arrangement or pronouncement by PDP members, and could only be superseded by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2012) as amended, and the Electoral Act. This is the crux of the matter.
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