BEING TEXT OF AN ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE OGUN PDP STATE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN, ENGR. ADEBAYO DAYO AT A PRESS CONFERENCE HELD AT THE STATE PARTY SECRETARIAT ON THURSDAY 17TH AUGUST, 2017
1. Gentlemen of the press, I welcome you all this morning to a briefing that I will prefer to call, ‘setting the records straight’ as it proposes to indeed separate truth from lies, and also guide all stakeholders within the PDP family and the Media on what is legally feasible and constitutionally obtainable as far as the party is concerned in Ogun state.
2. Since the resolution of the national leadership tussle between Senators Ali Modu Sheriff and Ahmed Makarfi via the judgement of the Supreme Court, a lot of insinuation and wrong inference has been made especially by stakeholders from Ogun state and most unexpectedly, by no less than the media, which ordinarily should be the custodian of verified information.
3. I say this advisedly because we have observed that a section of the media especially in Ogun State erroneously accorded recognition to the dissident group in our party led by Sikirulai Ogundele and Ladi Adebutu. Ogundele was never the chairman of the party because he never emerged from any valid Congress and the fact that he and his collaborators supported Senator Ahmed Makarfi while his tussle with Sheriff lasted cannot confer legitimacy on them in ogun state; especially in the aftermath of the Supreme Court judgement.
4. Having said that, I will proceed to the core of why we are here today. Let me on behalf of the State Executive Committee of the PDP in Ogun state; use this medium to again congratulate the National Caretaker Committee on its victory at the Supreme Court. Like we have said before which the Makarfi Committee had also alluded to, it is victory for all members of our party and also victory for the rule of law.
5. The Ogun State Peoples Democratic Party, under my Chairmanship humbly advise the National Caretaker Committee to avail itself of the provisions of the rule of law and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as minimum consideration in handling the business of the party especially in the aftermath of Saturday’s Special non-elective National Convention.
6. You all will be recall that the protracted crisis between Ahmed Makarfi committee and Ali Modu Sheriff NWC lasted until the Supreme Court judgement decided in a particular direction. It therefore suggests that by being a product of the rule of law, the National caretaker committee should be circumspect and guided by same law in all of its actions, especially as affects state chapters of the party; ogun state particularly.
7. It is on the basis of the above and also on the supremacy of the law, that we REJECT the purported dissolution of Ogun state PDP executives, notwithstanding the powers of the National Convention. Our executive is a creation of the party’s extant processes and also of the Law – as guaranteed by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
8. We again reiterate for the umpteenth time that the 71st NEC meeting of this party, predating the May 2016 Portharcourt convention, ratified the congresses of 31 states – Ogun state inclusive – to which the Makarfi National caretaker committee had also taken cognizance of in their public utterances (to the effect that they will not revert a previous NEC decision) and also through its letter written to us dated 17th July, 2016. It was also in recognition of our authenticity that the committee listed our delegates for the aborted second Portharcourt convention.
9. We were therefore shocked and dumbfounded at what could be the premise and basis for which Ogun and Osun state executives will be so dissolved at the recently held special non-elective National Convention, whereas, the same convention ratified other 29 states that had been earlier cleared alongside our state. This is selective injustice and we again urge the Makarfi committee not to be used by antidemocratic and desperate elements seeking to have party control in Ogun state and the southwest through the back door.
10. The PDP as an institution despite being an autonomous entity with its distinct constitution still exists under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which is the Grundnorm of our corporate existence – Article 1, subsection 2 of the PDP constitution clearly refers. Therefore, we strongly posit that the National Convention CANNOT repudiate a validly constituted state executive which has been further legitimized by the judgement of a Federal High Court that is unappealed as at now – and cannot even be appealed again due to the constitutional lapse of time allowed to do so.
11. The National Caretaker Committee – through the National Convention – cannot appropriate to itself the powers of the Court of Appeal by unilaterally and arbitrarily vitiating the Judgement of a Federal High Court. Rather, the Makarfi committee should have approached the Appeal Court if at all it wants our executive disbanded and of course should the Appelate court sustain or disregard the FHC verdict recognizing us, either of us will then approach the Supreme Court for a final interpretation; just as it happened in the Makarfi committee versus Sheriff NWC scenario.
12. By way of further grounds establishing the congresses that brought us to office, we bought nomination forms from the then NWC, whereas, the dissident group led by Sikirulai Ogundele and Ladi Adebutu had no legitimate forms to conduct a congress. Also, the Alhaji Mohammed El-Yakub National Congress Committee report, INEC status report on our congress and affirmation of our executive and Police/DSS reports are documents that clearly establishes us.
13. More importantly, we approached the court to protect our Congress from the claims of this dissident group. The Federal High Court in suit FHC/LS/636/2016 considered these documents and after arguments from both sides, it was unambiguous in it’s judgement recognizing and ordering the PDP NEC, INEC, DSS and the Police to recognize the “Adebayo Dayo executive – which shall act on all affairs of Ogun state PDP until 2020”. This judgement and reports of these security agencies have been forwarded to relevant quarters, Makarfi caretaker committee inclusive.
14. Anytime the national leadership fails to comply with the rule of law, it will always run into a cul-de-sac. The Supreme Court could not have given the NWC, NEC or the National Convention the right to disregard due process, court orders or judgments. It cannot encourage anyone or any institution to be above the law. The constitution of the PDP and PDP itself are products of the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Therefore, the non-elective convention conducted on the 12th of August, 2017, with illegal delegates, and the decisions taken at the meeting cannot stand because they were done in defiance of valid court orders and judgments.
15. Chapter 1 (General Provision) Sections 1, 2, and 3 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria says, If any other law (PDP convention decision implied here) is inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution (the court decision implied here), this Constitution shall prevail. In essence, the court decision in favor of the Ogun State PDP executive under my watch remains sacrosanct ‘DE JURE’.
16. To drive it further home, the court judgment in favour of our Executive is binding on the national headquarters of the party and on INEC. It is also binding on the Police and DSS. The judgment has not been set aside and the time of appeal has since lapsed. It therefore means, INEC will never be involved in monitoring any fresh congress in Ogun State, just as the Police and DSS, as responsible institutions, will not want to go against any court order and judgment. Suffice it to say that no caretaker committee can also be set up for Ogun state.
17. Again, on the 19th of January, 2017, the same FHC directed the Police and other security agencies to close down any purported parallel state, local government and ward secretariat of the PDP and arrest the impostors parading themselves as members of the Ogun State PDP Executive except members of the Engr. Adebayo Dayo-led exco.
18. What more, when we learnt that they were taking steps to prevent the authentic Ogun State executive and delegates from attending the 12th August, 2017 National Convention, we approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, for protection and in a ruling delivered on the 10th of August, 2017, the court held, That an order is hereby made granting interim injunction restraining the 1st Defendant by itself, its National Executive Committee, National Caretaker Committee or other national leadership or organ of the party howsoever styled from excluding the authentic delegates of the Ogun State chapter of the PDP including the Plaintiffs from participating in the special non-elective convention of the Peoples Democratic Party scheduled to hold on the 12th August, 2017 or any other date pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
19. It is therefore surprising, despite being served with that fresh order, that the National Caretaker Committee being a product of the rule of law itself could contemplate illegality and impunity. The fact that they acted in deviance of two new subsisting court orders and judgments makes all the decisions they took at the National Convention ‘ultra vires’ and illegal. We are confident that the Engr. Adebayo executive stays and INEC shall continue to relate with us as stated in its 9th August, 2016 letter to the National Caretaker Committee. Whatever decision taken at the NEC and national convention is of no consequence whatsoever and it is “Brought In Dead” in the face of law.
20. Ladies and gentlemen, for us in Ogun state PDP, there cannot be fresh Congresses until 2020 neither can any caretaker committee be set up for same purpose; Attempting to do so amount to illegality, impunity and contempt of court. Just like the national caretaker committee did till it got its own permanent victory, we are going to fully test this case to the highest level of judicial intervention. In our own thinking, it is the Sikirulai Ogundele impostor group that was dissolved, not us.
21. Surely the national convention and constitution of the PDP cannot be superior to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In the meantime, I remain the validly elected, Constitution-backed, INEC-backed, Court-backed Chairman of PDP in Ogun state and should be so regarded. I urge you all not to regard any other proposed contraption they plan to come up with. For now, nothing has changed and the party executives at all levels in Ogun state under my leadership remains constitutionally valid and judicially sacrosanct till 2020.
Engr. Adebayo DAYO
State Chairman, Ogun PDP
17 / 08/ 2017