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Published On: Thu, Jan 24th, 2013

Oyinlola Remains PDP Secretary – INEC

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INEC Chairman Jega

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday said Olagunsoye Oyinlola remained the National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party on its list despite a court order sacking him.
The Commission said it had neither been served with the court order nor written by the PDP that Oyinlola had ceased to be its national secretary.

“There has not been any specific order with regard to the removal,” the News Agency of Nigeria quoted Kayode Idowu, spokesman for INEC chairman, Prof. Atahiru Jega, as saying in an interview.
Idowu said that INEC as a political umpire would comply and “if there is an order directing the commission to remove his (Oyinlola’s) name as national secretary.”
The Federal High Court in Abuja on January 11 ordered the removal of Oyinlola as PDP’s National Secretary, while the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, had directed on January 14 that the Deputy National Secretary, Solomon Onwe, immediately take over the office of the national secretary in acting capacity. Curiously, PDP chieftains on Tuesday declined comments on the development. When contacted, National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, said he was just returning to the country so he could not say whether the party had comunicated to INEC that Oyinlola had ceased to be the party’s national secretary.
“Sorry, I am just returning to Nigeria now. I cannot comment on that,” Metuh told our correspondent on the phone.
Also, both Tukur and Onwe did not pick calls to their mobile phones. Text messages to them on the INEC stance were also not acknowledged.
Justice Abdul Kafarati who ordered Oyinlola’s removal also asked that he be put in prison for criminal disobedience of court order, following a suit against him by the party chieftains in Osun State.
Meanwhile, the hope of Oyinlola, who was also sacked as governor of Osun State in November 2010, may not come true soon as indications emerged on Tuesday that his stay of execution of the order sacking him as national secretary would not be heard on Thursday (tomorrow) as earlier slated.
The motion, pending before a Federal High Court in Abuja, had been slated for hearing this Thursday but the day has been declared a public holiday by the Federal Government for commemoration of the birth of Prophet Mohammed.
The PDP lead counsel, Joe Kyari-Gadzama (SAN), told reporters in Abuja on Tuesday that the application for a stay of execution which was slated for hearing on Thursday might not even be heard at all.
This, he said, was because the relief being sought by the applicant had been overtaken by events. He said, “The stay (of execution motion) is slated for hearing on
Thursday which ironically is a public holiday, and even at that the action which the application sought to stay its execution has been overtaken by events as an Acting National Secretary has already been sworn in.
“So what I think we would do is to concentrate on the appeal which is before the Court of Appeal as the stay of execution could be said to be technically dead.”
In his appeal, Oyinlola is challenging the lower court’s judgment which sacked him from office, saying the court did not look at the evidence he presented before it.
He further submitted that the learned judge erred in law when he overruled the preliminary objection to the jurisdiction of the court and assumed jurisdiction.
Oyinlola further told the appellate court that the subject matter of the suit was an intra party dispute, which he said was clearly not justifiable and that the Federal High Court, and indeed any court of law, had no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the suit.
He further submitted that the learned trial judge erred in law when the court disregarded the ruling of the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal in CA/35/12 delivered on June 25, 2012 and held that the entire action did not constitute an abuse of court process.

The appellant therefore prayed the court for an order reversing the judgment of the learned trial Judge and substituting thereto an order striking out and or dismissing the entire action with costs.
A faction of the PDP in Ogun State had through its chairman, Mr. Adebayo Dayo, instituted a suit challenging the nomination of Oyinlola by the South-West Caucus of the party on grounds that two court judgments had nullified the South-West zonal congress through which he emerged.

Source; naij.com

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