The tussle over the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State continued yesterday as the lawmaker representing Ogun East Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Senator Buruji Kashamu, has petitioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the situation in the party.
Kashamu, wrote to INEC following a recent judgment of the Federal High Court, Lagos, which asked the commission and the PDP to obey an earlier judgment of the court that declared the Engr Adebayo Dayo-led State Exco as the authentic leadership of the party in the state.
In the letter dated March 26, 2018, the lawmaker queried the commission’s delay in keeping to its tradition of obeying court orders and judgments until a superior court says otherwise.
“The Commission’s position with regards to the Ogun State PDP Exco negates its well-known and established tradition of giving effect to court judgments until a superior court says otherwise. INEC had in similar situations as this case taken the path of honour and rectitude as shown in the cases of Chief Ejike Oguebego Vs Prince Kenneth Emeakayi over the Anambra State PDP Exco; Samsom Ogah Vs Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim Vs Eyitayo Jegede, just to mention a few. So, what has changed? Why is the case of Ogun State PDP Exco different?”,Kashamu wrote.
The letter reads in part, “You would recall that I had written three different letters dated 29th January, 2018, 5th and 12th February, 2018 respectively to you, in respect of the Ogun State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Executive. However, it is surprising that up till date the Commission has not replied any of the letters.
“The silence, notwithstanding, I am again constrained to write you, particularly to draw your attention to yet another judgment of the Federal High Court, Lagos, which has not been stayed or upturned on appeal.
“Specifically, on the 9th of February, 2018, the Federal High Court, Lagos gave a judgment in Suit No.FHC/L/CS/1556/2017 wherein it expressly directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the PDP to obey the orders of the court in Suit No.FHC/L/CS/636/2016.”
The lawmaker said the latest judgment has been served on the commission’s legal department and wondered why “ the Director of Legal Services, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Babalola, is either keeping the judgment away from your office and/or sitting on it”.
Kashamu contended that the court held that the judgment of the Supreme Court on the national leadership tussle between Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Senator Ahmed Makarfi has nothing to do with the issue of the Ogun State PDP Exco.
“As you would find in the judgment, the court held that the resolution of a political party in respect of a State Exco cannot vitiate the subsisting judgment of court. It also ruled that the judgment of the Supreme Court in the Ali Modu Sheriff/ Makarfi case has nothing to do with the issue of the Ogun State Exco.
“So, the ill-advised decision of the Commission to recognise some dissidents instead the authentic and legally-recognised Ogun State PDP Exco has no basis in law and it is antithetical to internal democracy and justice.”
While absolving the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu of complicity in what he described as “the grand conspiracy against common sense, justice and the Rule of Law”, Kashamu expressed the hope that the INEC boss “would rise up to the occasion – in line with the age-long tradition of the Commission to obey court orders and judgments until a superior court says otherwise”.
He warned that the commission’s disobedience to court judgment “could breed discontent, resort to self-help and ultimately erode confidence in the electoral process”.
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