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RE: PDP NEC MEETING AND NATIONAL CONVENTION: MATTERS ARISING BY SENATOR BURUJI KASHAMU

 

 

I wish to extend my warmest greetings to all my leaders, elders, supporters and followers in Ogun State and South West, in general.

 

I thank you for your unwavering support for me through the years, be it in the PDP or the Omoilu Foundation.

 

Following recent happenings at the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting and National Convention of our great party, the PDP, it has become imperative for me to share with you my stance on the issues as they relate to the state of our party in the South West.

 

I am talking about the purported dissolution of the executives in Ogun, Osun and Lagos sates and the affirmation of the outcome of the Akure social gathering which has since been nullified by the court.

 

In a ruling delivered in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/605/2016 on the 17th of May, 2016, the court held “That an order is granted nullifying the South West congress conducted on the 14th of May, 2016 in Akure, which was so conducted in defiance of the order of this court made in this action on the 11th of May 2016 restraining the 2nd, 3rd and 4thDefendants from conducting or permitting or recognizing any election into the offices of the South West Zonal Executive Committee pending the hearing and determination of the Originating Summons…Everything built on actions in defiance of a court order is a nullity.”

 

Furthermore, in a final judgment delivered on the 24th of June, 2016, the court categorically stated, “That an order is granted to the Plaintiff restraining the 2nd, 3rd and 4thDefendants from conducting or permitting or recognizing any election into the offices of the South West Zonal Executive Committee until October, 2018, when the four years term of the current officers, including the Plaintiff would have been spent.

 

“That an order is granted to the Plaintiff directing the 1st Defendant not to recognize any other persons apart from the current officers of the South West Zonal Executive Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party as set out in the result sheet for Zonal Congress for election of Zonal Executive members dated the 11th of October, 2014 until their four year term expires in October, 2018.”

 

Based on the above orders and judgment, the Federal High Court, Abuja, on the 11th of August, 2017, ruled, “That an order is hereby made restraining the 2nd Defendant from operating in the South West zone of the party through any committee in which the applicant, Chief Pegba Otemolu and Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe are not members in the capacity of the Secretary and Chairman respectively of the South West Zonal Executive of the PDP pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

 

“That an order of interim injunction is made restraining the 2nd Defendant by itself, its officers, organs and delegates from recognizing any harmonization, restructuring or disruption of the PDP leadership structures in the South West zone (including any purported list of delegates for the special non-elective National Convention of the PDP schedule for the 12th of August, 2017 or any other date during the tenure of office of the South West Zonal Executive Committee of which the Applicant is secretary pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”

 

These were the orders and judgment discountenanced by the National Caretaker Committee, NEC and National Convention of our great party.

 

It should be abundantly clear to all that Eddy Olafeso never had any case before the Supreme Court that he could benefit from.

 

While it could be argued that the congress in Lagos State was inconclusive, the dissolution of the state executives in Osun and Ogun states was a clear travesty of justice. The congresses of these states were affirmed by the NEC before the May 21, 2016 botched convention in Port Harcourt.

 

At its 74th NEC meeting held on the 17thof July, 2017, the NEC resolved to reinstate all the State Excos that were elected at the April 2016 congresses but later reversed after the February, 17, 2017 judgment of the Court of Appeal. Ogun and Osun states were not listed as part of those states.

 

So, what has changed? Why were the state executives in Ondo and Ekiti states left untouched? Are these executives not also dogged with issues? In Osun State, Omisore wants to perpetually hold on to the party structure, at the detriment of the over 90% of the stakeholders, in order to push through his governorship ambition even when he has failed twice. In Ogun State, OGD and Ladi Adebutu are fomenting trouble in the party, all because of their senatorial and governorship ambitions in 2019. In Lagos State, Chief Bode George seeks to hold on to the party structure even when he has not been able to win his polling booth since 1999! In Ekiti and Ondo states, the party is divided 50/50.  Now, Ekiti is left in the hands of one man. No one is talking of harmonization in Ekiti and Ondo states. They dissolved the excos in Ogun, Osun and Lagos states to satisfy Ayo Fayose, Iyiola Omisore, OGD and Chief George. What an injustice! What a double standard!

 

ON OGUN PDP EXCO

 

The Ogun State PDP Executive is on a familiar path. As it was in 2011, so it is in 2017. In 2011, OGD, with the active support of the then National Chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje; the National Legal Adviser, Olusola Oke and the National Vice-Chairman, Alhaji Tajudeen Oladipo, sidelined all stakeholders and did the primaries alone. It took the intervention of the court for our candidates were accepted by the INEC.

 

It was almost a similar occurrence in 2015 when the structure supported by the former Speaker, Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole, attempted to assemble his own delegates against the list submitted by the party leadership in the state. He was encouraged and given all support by the then National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, disregarding the legitimate executive. It was a court order that forced INEC to take the list directly from Engr. Adebayo Dayo-led State Exco. This allowed the legitimate State Executive to submit the list of candidates who emerged from the State Congress that was chaired by the authentic State Chairman of the party.  It was on the basis of the same order that Ladi Adebutu was fielded and elected into the House of Representatives.

 

In 2017, the same scenario is playing out. The NWC and NEC of the PDP in ratifying all the states executives it had earlier recognised dissolved that of Ogun State after had acknowledged it. This was in spite of the fact that a competent court had already pronounced it as the legitimate executive that should not be tampered with until it serves out its four year tenure in 2020.

 

I believe in Section 33 (2) of our Party Constitution which states that the National Convention shall be the Supreme and controlling authority of the party. However, the PDP constitution and the National Convention cannot be greater than our courts which are the products of the Nigerian Constitution.

 

It should be emphasised that the supremacy of any party’s constitution is subject to the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as clearly stated in Chapter 1, section 2 of our Party Constitution

 

The Ogun State PDP Executive under the leadership of Engr. Adebayo Dayo has a court judgment and orders legitimising it as the duly and validly elected State Executive until 2020. This clearly allows the Engr. Adebayo Dayo-led executive to remain in office and carry out all its due responsibilities and functions.

 

For the above reasons, the Dayo-led Exco will remain in office till 2020 regardless of its purported dissolution, because the action taken by the NEC and convention of our great party is an illegal act. You cannot build something on nothing and expect it to stand.

 

I believe that the so-called dissolution of the Dayo-led Ogun State Exco never took place. It was not the authentic State Exco that was dissolved. Rather, it was the parallel structure being promoted by the impostors that was dissolved.

 

I understand that the amateurs are misconstruing a Supreme Court judgment that says it is only the national leadership that can submit names to the regulatory agency, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

 

While this may be true, it does not mean that the national body would just write names from the air and submit to INEC. It has to conduct primaries at a congress to be chaired by the State Chairman of the respective state executive. Anytime the national leadership fails to comply with this constitutional provision, it will always run into a cul-de-sac.

The Supreme Court could not have given the NWC, NEC or the 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 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.

 

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) is inconsistent with the provision of this Constitution (the court decision), this Constitution shall prevail”. In essence, the court decision in favor of the Ogun State PDP executive remains.

 

Put differently, the court judgment in favour of the authentic Ogun State Executive is binding on the national headquarters of our party and the regulator, INEC. It is also binding on the Police and SSS. The judgment has not been set aside and the time of appeal has since lapsed. Certainly, INEC will never be involved in monitoring any fresh congress in Ogun State, just as the Police, as a responsible institution, will not want to go against any court order and judgment.

 

Again, on the 19th of January, 2017, the same court 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 Exco except members of the Engr. Adebayo Dayo-led exco.

 

A court verdict is next to the Almighty Allah. A court delivers judgment to those deserving of it. Once it is handed down, it supersedes the decision or constitution of any organisation. It is also the last resort when parties are unable to come to a compromise.

 

When words began to go round that they were taking steps to prevent the authentic Ogun State Exco and delegates from attending at the 12th of August, 2017 National Convention, the Dayo-led Ogun State Exco approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, for protection.

 

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 12thAugust, 2017 or any other date pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”

 

It is therefore surprising that the National Caretaker Committee which is a product of the law could encourage 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 illegal. If care is not taken, this could be exploited by the opposition at the last minute – at a huge cost to the PDP and all those who would have invested in the process. Why would our party leaders take such a risk and contaminate the convention because of the vaunting ambitions of a few?

 

Therefore, with or without national recognition, the Engr. Adebayo Dayo-led executive stays. INEC shall continue to deal with the Dayo-led executive as stated in its 9th August, 2016 letter to the National Caretaker Committee. Whatever decision they took at the NEC and national convention is of no consequence whatsoever. It is dead on arrival. We are clearly miles ahead of them.

 

Kindly find below some of the court declarations in respect of the Ogun State PDP Executive which the National Caretaker Committee through the NEC and National Convention is seeking to brush aside:

 

1.      “A declaration is made that by the combined interpretation of the provisions of Section 223 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and the judgment of this honourable court delivered on the 2nd of May, 2016 in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/347/2012 – CHIEF ENGR. ADEBAYO DAYO V PDP & ORS, the 1stDefendant is obliged to ensure that the 2nd Defendant complies with internal democracy and the rule of law in the election of its officers by mandating the 2nd Defendant to accept and recognize the Plaintiffs and other officers of the Ogun State Executive Committee of the party listed in the result sheets and reports exhibited to the affidavit in support of this originating summons who emerged from ward, local government and state congresses conducted in Ogun State on the 30th of April, 5th and 10th May, 2016 respectively by the Plaintiffs in accordance with the guidelines issued by the party for its 2016 congresses.

 

2.      “A declaration is made that by the combined interpretation of the provisions of Section 223 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Section 86 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), the 1st to 4th Defendants are obliged to accord recognition to the Plaintiffs and other officers of the Ogun State Executive Committee of the party listed in the result sheets and reports exhibited to the affidavit in support of this originating summons who emerged from ward, local government and state congresses conducted in Ogun State on the 30th of April, 5th and 10th May, 2016 respectively by the Plaintiffs in accordance with the guidelines issued by the party for its 2016 congresses.

 

3.      “A declaration is made that the 1st to 4th Defendants cannot recognise or deal with any other persons claiming to be officers of the Ogun State Executive Committee of the 2nd Defendant except the plaintiffs and other officers of the Ogun State Executive Committee listed in the result sheets and reports exhibited to the affidavits in support of this application who emerged from the ward, local government and state congresses conducted in Ogun State on the 30th of April, 5th and 10th of May, 2016 respectively by the Plaintiffs.

 

4.      “That an order is granted to the Plaintiff restraining the 1st to 4th Defendants from according any recognition to the 5th Defendant and/or his agents and privies or any other person (s) claiming to be an officer (s) of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State at Ward, Local Government or state levels except those that have emerged from congresses conducted by the plaintiffs and whose names (as listed in the exhibits attached to the affidavit in support of this application) are forwarded to the National headquarters of the PDP and the 1st Defendant under the hand and signature of the 1st and 2nd Plaintiffs/Applicants.

 

5.      “That an order is granted to the Plaintiff restraining the 2nd Defendant by its officers, organs and agents, including the 3rd and 4th Defendants from tampering with the structure of the Executive Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Ogun State chapter of the party as established by the judgment of this Honourable Court delivered on the 2nd day of May, 2012 or in any other manner interfering with the functions of the Plaintiffs; whether by dissolving or harmonising the Ogun State Executive Committee or otherwise impeding the powers of the plaintiffs to manage the affairs of the PDP in Ogun State until they have forwarded to the National Headquarters of the PDP the lists of the new PDP officers in Ogun State and handed over to the said new State officers that emerged from congresses conducted by the Plaintiffs for the emergence of their successors as prescribed by the Constitution and directives of the National Executive Committee of the PDP

 

6.      “That an order is granted to the Plaintiff restraining the 2nd Defendant by its officers, organs and agents, including the 3rd and 4th Defendants from tampering with the structure of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State chapter of the party as constituted by the new officers of the party that emerged from congresses conducted by the Plaintiffs or in any other manner impeding the said officers in the exercise of the functions until the expiration of the four year term guaranteed by the constitution of the PDP.

 

7.      “That an order is granted to the Plaintiff restraining the 2nd Defendant by itself, its agents, servants, proxies and surrogates from henceforth conducting the affairs of the PDP in Ogun State, including meetings, congresses and/or primaries except through the new officers of the party that have emerged from congresses conducted by the Plaintiffs as listed in the exhibits attached to the affidavit in support of this originating summons.

 

8.      “That an order is granted to the Plaintiff restraining the 1st Defendant by itself, officers, agents, servants or privies from recognizing any step or action whatsoever taken by the 2ndDefendant or its National Executive Committee, other organs or officers including the 3rd and 4th Defendants in Ogun State without recourse to and or approval of the Plaintiffs herein.

 

9.       “That an order is granted to the Plaintiff directing the 2nd Defendant, by its organs, officers, agents and servants, officers, agents and servants, including the 3rd and 4th Defendants, to accept for the purpose of convening of the South West zonal congress and the National Convention of the PDP, ONLY the delegates elected at the congresses of the PDP in Ogun State conducted by the Plaintiffs as listed in the result sheets and reports exhibited to the affidavits in support of this originating summons.

 

10.  “That an order of this court is granted to the Plaintiff directing the 1stand 2nd defendants to accord exclusive recognition to the Ogun State officers of the PDP that emerged from the congresses conducted by the Plaintiffs as listed in the exhibits attached to the affidavit in support of this originating summons.

 

11.  “That an order is granted to the Plaintiff directing the 1st and 2ndDefendants to recognize and accept, for purposes of the 2019 Nigerian general elections, only candidates of the PDP in Ogun State that have been nominated through primaries conducted by the new officers of the PDP in Ogun State as listed in the results and reports exhibited in the affidavit in support of this originating summons.

 

12.  “That an order is granted to the Plaintiff directing the 1st Defendant to deal exclusively with the new Ogun State officers of the PDP that emerged from the congresses conducted by the Plaintiffs (as listed in exhibits attached to the affidavit in support of this originating summons) in the conduct of the 2nd Defendant’s programmes in Ogun State including congresses and primaries of the party until the four years tenure to which they have been elected is spent.

 

13.  “That an order is granted to the Plaintiff directing the 6th Defendant to provide required security for the Plaintiffs and the listed officers of the PDP that emerged from congresses conducted by the Plaintiffs.”

 

So, once again, I congratulate all my leaders, elders and supporters as our detractors are fighting a lost battle in Ogun State. As in the past, all their efforts will amount to naught. Let us continue with our mobilization into the party and position ourselves for the challenges ahead. We are ready and fully prepared for the multiple legal battles ahead until impunity comes to an end in PDP and the Rule of Law, equity and justice are enthroned.

 

 

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