Confusion in PDP as legal adviser urges court to restore Oyinlola

Olagunsoye Oyinlola In what appeared a further crack in the National Working Committee (NWC) of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), National Legal Adviser Victor Kwon has asked the Court of Appeal to reinstate Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the sacked National Secretary.

He also urged the Federal High Court, Abuja to grant a stay of last Friday’s judgment, which led to Oyinlola’s removal from office.

In two applications before the High Court and the Court of Appeal, the National Legal Adviser said the PDP believed that a “ vacuum would be created in the National Working Committee (NWC), which would affect the smooth running of the party.”

His motions before the two courts contradicted the position of the National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, who on Monday removed Oyinlola from office.

Tukur, in a statement in Abuja, said: “Pursuant to the powers conferred on the National Chairman by Chapter V Section 35 (1), 35 (1)(b) as well as section 36(2) of the constitution of the PDP (as amended), the Deputy National Secretary of the PDP, Solomon Onwe, is hereby directed to assume duties as the Acting National Secretary of the PDP.”

But the national legal adviser said Oyinlola will “suffer more hardship if this Honourable Court does not make an order of injunction restraining the Judgment Creditors/Respondents as the pending appeal will be rendered nugatory.”

The Motion on Notice, filed by the National Legal Adviser, before the Federal High Court, was obtained by The Nation.

The Motion on Notice and the Notice of Appeal are dated January 11, 2013, but they were filed and stamped on January 14 at the two courts.

There was confusion among party chiefs yesterday.

Although Kwon approached the two courts on behalf of PDP, some NWC members did not agree with his arguments.

A member of the NWC, who spoke with our correspondent, said: “Do you mean that he made those submissions on behalf of PDP? Well, some of us have not been briefed. I will get back to you please.

“The legal advice we got from one of our counsel was that the judgment of the Federal High Court bordered on declaratory orders and Oyinlola must vacate office. We were made to believe that Oyinlola will need to fight his way back to office.”

Another party source said: “The Legal Adviser has not made the motion and notice available to all NWC members. They have not been briefed.

“Even the party leadership does not have the documents, as I speak with you. Well, we will reach out to the national legal adviser to know the truth.”

The national legal adviser made the following averments before the Federal High Court.

“That I know that in the event that the Appeal of the 2nd Judgment Debtor/Applicant is successful and the judgment of this Honourable Court is not stayed, the 1st Judgment Debtor/ Respondent (Oyinlola) will not have the immediate benefit of returning to the seat he presently occupy as National Secretary of the 2nd Judgment Debtor/ Applicant (PDP) and this will adversely affect the activities of the PDP.

He said the “2nd Judgment Debtor/ Applicant (PDP) undertakes to pay damages in the event that it is discovered that this application ought not be granted. That it will be in the greater interest of justice to grant this application.”

In a separate notice of Appeal filed at the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, the National Legal Adviser averred that the PDP was dissatisfied with the judgment of Justice A. Abdul-Kafarati of the Federal High Court(No.2),Abuja delivered on Friday the 11th January 2013.

He said Justice Abdu-Kafarati “misdirected himself in law when he held that Oyinlola could not have emerged as a candidate for the Office of National Secretary at the South-West Zonal Congress of the appellant held 21st March, 2012 in violation of suits FHC/ L/ CS/ 282/2012 and FHC /L/CS/347/2012 and decisions therein given.

In highlighting the particulars of error in the judgment of Justice Abdu-Kafarati, the National Legal Adviser said Oyinlola was not a candidate of the South-West Zonal Chapter of the party.

He said Oyinlola was elected at the National Convention of the party.

He added: “The Office of National Secretary of the PDP in the 2012 National Convention was zoned to members of the party from the Southwest geopolitical zone of the country and not the South-West Zonal Chapter of the appellant (the PDP).

“Oyinlola hails from the South-West geopolitical zone of the country to which the position of the National Secretary of the PDP was zoned

“Oyinlola contested and won election for the Office of National Secretary of the PDP at the 2012 National Convention in his own right and not a nominee or candidate of the South-West Zonal Chapter of PDP.

“Other members of PDP from the Southwest geopolitical zone of the country also contested for the Office of National Secretary of PDP alongside Oyinlola notwithstanding the South-West Zonal Congress of PDP held on 21st March 2012.

“The nullified South-West Zonal Congress of PDP held on 21st March 2012 did not nominate, present or otherwise endorse Oyinlola as candidate for the Office of National Secretary of PDP.”

The Nation

Leave a Reply