SAN FRANCISCO, September 27, (THEWILL) – The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have been ordered to remove the name of former Osun State governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, from their records as PDP’s National Secretary.
Justice Abdulkadir Abdul-Kafarati of a Federal High Court in Abuja gave the order in a ruling on Friday asking the PDP and INEC to replace Oyinlola with Professor Adewale Oladapo,who was nominated by the Southwest PDP extra-ordinary zonal congress held in Ibadan (Oyo State) on July 13.
The ruling was sequel to a motion on notice filed by Adebayo Dayo (Chairman) and Semiu Sodipo (Secretary) for themselves and the Ogun State chapter of the PDP in which Oyinlola, PDP and INEC were listed as defendants .
The court had in the January 11 judgment ordered the removal of Oyinlola from office and the conduct of a fresh congress by the Southwest PDP for the purpose of nominating a replacement for Oyinlola.
The judge also extended to July 13, the time limit he had granted, in the court’s January 11 judgment, for the conduct of the zonal congress.
Abdul-Kafarati also deemed Oladipo’s nomination by the congress as replacement for Oyinlola “as proper and due compliance with the January 11 judgment.”
In granting the applicants’ prayers on Friday, Justice Abdul-Kafarati discountenanced arguments by Oyinlola and PDP that the court was funtus officio, having earlier delivered a judgment in the case.
He held that the fresh application was neither meant to reopen the case nor to effect changes in the earlier delivered judgment, but to regularise the steps taken in compliance with the judgment.
On Oyinlola’s argument that the court could no longer consider the application because he had appealed the judgment, the judge held that the application would have no effect on the judgment and the appeal filed.
He also noted that there was no evidence before the court that the record in respect of Oyinlola’s appeal had been transmitted to the appellate court.
Though the judge held that the mere filing of a notice of appeal did not serve as a ground to stay proceedings, he however refused attempt by applicants’ lawyer, Babs Akinwunmi, to move a motion ex-parte, seeking leave for substituted service of court documents relating to a pending contempt case on Oyinlola, factional Chairman of PDP, Kawu Baraje and a chieftain of the party, Sam Sam Jaja.
Akinwunmi had told the court that the applicants had made unsuccessful attempts to effect personal service of the documents on the three alleged contemnors.
Justice Abdul-Kafarati advised the applicants to file fresh affidavit indicating the failed attempts they had made to serve the defendants.
The applicants are by the contempt proceedings, praying the court to commit Oyinlola to prison over his alleged continuous claim to being the party’s National Secretary despite the judgment sacking him.
They are equally asking the court to jail Baraje and Jaja for allegedly aiding Oyinlola to flout the court’s judgment.