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The PPN petition to the NJC

28th March, 2011

The Chairman
National Judicial Council (NJC)
Supreme Court Complex
Three Arms Zone
FCT, Abuja

Dear Sir,

PLEASE SAVE US FROM HON. JUSTICE ABDU-KAFARATI OF THE FEDERAL HIGH COURT, ABUJA

1)      We were formerly members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ogun State Chapter before we were compelled to leave the party and join our present party Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) as a result of a highly prejudicial order granted by Justice Kafarati in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/28/2011 on 26th January, 2011.  We were unconstitutionally, brazenly and unjustly deprived of our rights by the orders made by Justice Abdu-Kafarati in the above captioned suit. The brazen deprivation is akin the following analogy:-

“Two bothers are fighting over a property which their late father in his lifetime gave (as a gift) to the fist brother complete with title documents etc, duly registered in the fist brother’s name. Second brother then goes to court and obtained an injunction behind his brother’s back, which orders the first brother to handover over the property, title documents and all, to the second brother. Furthermore, that the second brother should go ahead and sell the property and use the proceeds as he deems fit pending the determination of the substantive suit.”

2)      The above scenario is similar to what happened to us in the hand of Justice Abdu Kafarati when sometime in January 2011, the DAYO SOREMI faction, as Plaintiffs in the said Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/28/2011, filed an Originating summons against (1) INEC and (2) PDP claiming five (5) reliefs as follows:

i)                   A Declaration that the Applicants as aspirants for the candidacy of the 2nd Respondent in Ogun State, at the general elections to be organized and conducted by the 1st Respondent, could not validly or legally participate in congresses and/or primaries organized by or in collaboration with the dissolved Joju Fadairo Executive Committee of the 2nd Respondent in Ogun State in view of the resolution and directive of the NEC/NWC of the 2nd Respondent of 30th July, 6th August 2010 and the order of the Federal High Court of 21st of September 2010.

ii)                 A declaration that the congresses and/or primaries conducted by the Dissolved Joju Fadairo Executive Committee of the 2nd Respondent in Ogun State were illegal, null and void in view of the resolution of the NWC/NEC of the 2nd Respondent of 30th July and 6th August 2010.

iii)              A Declaration that the 1st and 2nd Respondent are bound to recognize the applicants and other winners at the primaries/congresses organized or supervised by the harmonized Executive Committee of the Party led by Chief Dayo soremi as the authentic candidates of the 2nd Respondent in Ogun State for the Ogun State House of Assembly, the Federal House of Representatives, the Senate and the Gubernatorial elections to be conducted or organized by the 1st Respondent in 2011.

iv)               An order directing the 1st and 2nd Respondents to accept, recognize and utilize the results of the congresses/primaries conducted by the new harmonized Executive Committee of the 2nd Respondent in Ogun State led by Chief Dayo Soremi.

v)                 An order of injunction restraining the 1st and 2nd Respondents from accepting, recognizing, announcing or otherwise validating the returns/results of the congresses/primaries conducted by or in collaboration with the dissolved Joju Fadairo Executive Committee.”

3)      On 26th day of January 2011, Hon Justice Kafarati granted at an interlocutory stage the following orders:

i)                   “That the 1st and 2nd Respondents are restrained from, compiling, announcing, using, validating and/or otherwise acting upon the results of primaries and/or congresses conducted in Ogun State by the dissolved Ogun State Executive Committee led by Mr. Joju Fadairo, which were done on their own or in conjunction or cooperation with the Electoral Panels sent to Ogun State by the 2nd Respondent for the purposes of the congresses and primaries pursuant to its Electoral Guidelines 2010, pending the hearing of the Originating Summons.

ii)                 That the 1st and 2nd Defendants are restrained from announcing or making any pronouncement validating the result of the primaries/congresses conducted in Ogun State by the dissolved Ogun State Executive Committee of the 2nd Respondent pending the hearing of the Originating Summons.

iii)              That the 1st and 2nd Respondents are directed to approve, accept, compile, announce and use as its responsibilities require, the result of the primaries/congresses of the 2nd respondent conducted by its harmonized Executive Committee from which the Applicants emerged as candidates of the 2nd Respondent in Ogun State for the general elections and delegate to its National Convention/Presidential primaries pending the hearing of the Originating Summons.”

4)      At the time the above orders were made, it was only the Plaintiffs’ Counsel that was present in court. It is noteworthy that the Respondents (PDP and INEC) were not served with the motion papers at the time the order was granted. This can be confirmed from the proofs of service in the court’s records.

5)      It is clear from the orders granted as quoted above, that all the candidates who emerged from the primary elections conducted in Ogun State by the National Executive of the PDP were deprived of their vested rights of contesting the general election on the platform of the PDP without being heard by Justice Kafarati.

6)      We are aware of the provisions of Order 26 Rule 22 of the Federal high Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2009, which provides that:

“If at the hearing of any motion, the Court is of the opinion that any person, to whom notice has not been given, ought to have or ought to have had such notice, the Court may either strike out the motion, or adjourn the hearing thereof in order that notice may be given upon such terms as the Court may deem fit.”

7)      We believe, as laymen, that even in the absence of the rules of court quoted above, it should have been clear to Justice Kafarati, that we, who were the candidates affected by the order ought to have been put on notice before making any order that would deprive us of our right to contest the general elections after having won the primary elections, on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

8)      The above quoted orders made by Justice Kafarati were the worst form of orders that can be made against any candidate at time of preparation for general elections in Nigeria. We say this because:

a)      The order of Justice Kafarati is manifestly unlawful because we as politicians know that Section 31 of the Electoral Act (as amended by Section 10 of the Electoral (Amendment) Act 2010, provides that: “the Commission (INEC) shall not reject for any reason whatsoever any list of candidates submitted in the prescribed form by the political party”.

b)      Justice Kafarati unilaterally and wickedly promoted the candidacy of our opponents.

c)      Justice Kafarati prevented our political party from sponsoring us as candidates after having won the primary elections duly conducted by the party and monitored by INEC.

d)      The orders were made at an interlocutory stage and particularly when only the Plaintiffs counsel was present in Court without notice to the Defendants.

e)      Justice Kafarati had actually decided the whole case without hearing anybody aside from the Plaintiffs.

9)      By reason of the foregoing facts, we were strongly convinced that Justice Abdu-Kafarati was very biased against us. Our fears were confirmed by the fact that the Plaintiffs in that case were, after the order was made, boasting openly that we would never contest the election since Justice Kafarati is there for them and had made orders preventing us from contesting the general election. They manifested this assurance in an advertorial placed at page 45 of the Punch Newspaper of Friday January 28, 20011, in which they prejudicially boasted that:

“Ogun PDP Crisis Ends. Federal High Court Invalidates Gbenga Daniel’s Factional Congresses/Primaries.
Bars INEC, PDP from Accepting Faction’s Results.”

even when the case was still continuing before Justice Kafarati. A copy of the advertorial is attached to this petition.

10)  Having been frustrated by the order prejudicially made by Justice Kafarati, we had no option than to leave the Peoples Democratic Party in protest and join the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) on whose platform our names were then submitted to the INEC as candidates of the party for the general elections.

11)  After we had joined the Peoples Party of Nigeria and our names submitted to the INEC; the DAYO SOREMI led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State, out of desperation on 22nd March, 2011 instituted Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/377/11 between:

1)      Bashorun Dayo Soremi
2)      (2) Chief Babatunde Fadun
3)      (3) Wale Solaja

And

1)      Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
2)      (2) Peoples Party of Nigeria

claiming as follows:

i)                   “A declaration that the nomination and/or the substitution of the 2nd Defendants candidates for the general elections in Ogun State in order to include the names listed in the schedule to the Statement of Claim was done in violation of the Electoral Act 2010 being done clandestinely and illegally after the times limited for such activities had expired and were therefore illegal null and void.

ii)                 A declaration that the nomination or substitution for nominated candidates of the persons listed in the schedule to the Statement of Claim, by the 2nd Defendant is illegal, null and void as the said persons knowingly allowed themselves to be nominated by more than one Political Party, namely the Peoples Democratic Party and the 2nd Defendant in violation of the Electoral Act 2010.

iii)              An order directing the 1st Defendant to expunge, from its list of candidates nominated by Political Parties, the names of all persons listed in the schedule to the Statement of Claim in this action as they were nominated or substituted for those nominated for elections in Ogun State by the 2nd Defendant after the times specified by the Electoral Act 2010 for nominations, submission of lists of nominated candidates and/or substitution had expired.

iv)               An order prohibiting the 1st Defendant from including the names of all the persons listed in the schedule to the Statement of Claim, in its list of candidates nominated by Political parties, as they were nominated or substituted for those nominated by the 2nd Defendant after the time limited by the Electoral Act 2010 for nominations, submission of list of nominated candidates and/or substitution had expired.”

12)  The Plaintiffs in the new suit also filed a Motion Ex-parte and a Motion on Notice seeking the following orders:

i)                   “An order of interlocutory injunction directing the 1st Defendant to expunge, from its list of candidates nominated by Political Parties, the names of all persons listed in the schedule to the Statement of Claim and set out below pending the hearing and determination of this case.

ii)                 An order of interlocutory injunction prohibiting the 1st Defendant from including the names of all the persons listed in the schedule to the Statement of Claim and set out below, in its list of candidates nominated by Political parties, pending the hearing and determination of this case.

iii)              An order of interlocutory injunction restraining the 2nd Defendant from holding out, campaigning for or otherwise parading the persons listed in the schedule to the Statement of Claim and set out below, as its candidates for the general elections to be conducted in April 2011 in Ogun State pending the hearing and determination of this case.

iv)               And for such other or further orders as the court may see fit to make in the circumstances of this application.”

13)  The names of the persons listed in the schedule who they want the court to bar from contesting are all Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) candidates and are as follows:

1)      Prince Gboyega Nasir Isiaka  –          Governorship
2)      Waliu O. Taiwo                                     –           Ogun West Senatorial
3)      Adesina B. Akeem                    –           Odeda/Owode/Abeokuta North
4)      Hassan S. Olawale                    –           Ado-Odo Ota
5)      Adewusi Tunde Rasak                        –           Egbado N./Imeko Afon
6)      Badru S. Makanjuola               –           Egbado South/Ipokia
7)      Obadina O. Bamidele               –           Ifo/Ewekoro
8)      Adekoya A. Abdel-Majid        –           Ijebu East/North Ogun Waterside
9)      Gbenga Oduwaye                     –           Ijebu Ode/Odogbolu/Ijebu N.E.

14)  We wish to draw attention to the strategy adopted by the DAYO SOREMI led faction as Plaintiffs in the earlier Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/28/2011 whereby we, the persons affected by the order of Kafarati, J. were not joined as parties. The same strategy has been adopted in their present (this new suit) whereby we the candidates affected were not joined as parties.

15)  It is pertinent to draw attention to the following facts:

1)      “At the time the new Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/377/11 was filed the following processes were filed:

a)      Writ of Summons
b)      Statement of Claim
c)      Motion on Notice and Affidavit
d)      Motion  Ex-parte and Affidavit

2)      After the filing of the suit, the Plaintiffs’ lawyer Mr. R. A. Oluyede was seen on Wednesday 23rd March, 2011 about 3.02pm going into Justice Kafarati’s chambers from which he came out about 3.46pm.

3)      The motion which was filed on 22nd March 2011 was then fixed for hearing on 31st March, 2011.

4)      Meanwhile in the earlier Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/28/2011 in which Justice Kafarati ordered that our names should not be recognized by INEC, an application for leave to appeal was filed by (1) Chief Joju Fadairo (2) Hon. Lola Abiola-Edewor and (3) Otunba Olugbenga Daniel.

5)      The application referred to in (4) above was filed on 9th March, 2011 with an affidavit of urgency.

6)      When Justice Kafarati refused to assign a date to the motion, the Applicants’ Counsel wrote a letter sometime in March, 2011 pleading that the application be given a date.

7)      Justice Kafarati eventually fixed the application for hearing on 25th April 2011 ostensibly after the general elections would have been concluded.”

16)  The question which Justice Kafarati should be asked is: why did he fix a motion filed on 9th March 2011 with an affidavit of urgency for April 25, 2011 when that motion seeks to appeal against his judgment by which candidates of the DAYO SOREMI led faction of Peoples Democratic Party were ordered to be recognized? Whereas the motion filed by the same DAYO SEREMI faction on 22nd March 2011 seeking to stop us from contesting election was hurriedly fixed for hearing on 31st March 2011. It is important to note that Dayo Soremi’s motion did not have an affidavit of urgency yet it was treated with GREAT urgency. Why? Why? Why?

17)  Now on 17th February 2011 we filed Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/226/11: Isiaka vs. INEC in the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court in respect of the general elections in Ogun State.

18)  The suit was originally assigned to Olotu, J and was fixed for hearing on 22nd March, 2011.

19)  Before the case however came up before Olotu, J the Defendants’ counsel Mr. Ajibola Oluyede wrote a letter dated 21st February 2011 to the Chief Judge of the court in which he said that the suit ought not to have been assigned to Olotu, J and that it should be withdrawn and assigned to Kafarati, J.

20)  The suit was then withdrawn from Olotu, J and reassigned to Kafarati, J by the then Chief Judge Abutu, C.J.

21)  The Plaintiffs counsel however protested vide a letter dated 23rd February 2011 written by the firm of Pinheiro & Company on behalf of the joint counsel, that it was wrong for Mr. Oluyede to have nominated Justice Kafarati as the judge to hear the suit. Despite the letter of protest Justice Kafarati still held on to the case file. The case has since been discontinued.

22)  It is also important to draw attention to another aspect of our complaint in this Petition which are as follows:

i)                   On 17th March, 2011 the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) had taken an Originating Summons which was intended to be issued against INEC in respect of the candidature of its candidates in Ogun State to the registry of the Federal High Court, Abuja for filing. The processes were rejected on the ground that the Acting Chief Judge had issued a circular dated 16th March, 2011 in which it was directed that all cases arising from party screening and primaries should be filed in the Judicial Division where the primaries were conducted. The suit was then taken to Abeokuta and filed on 21st March, 2011 as Suit No. FHC/AB/CS/17/2011: PPN vs. INEC.

ii)                 Despite the existence of the circular however, Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/377/11: Soremi vs. PPN which was instituted by the Dayo Soremi faction of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State was surprisingly accepted in the registry of the Federal High Court, Abuja and by some MAGICAL (abracadabra) process assigned to the same Justice Kafarati.

23)  We are constrained to state here that we have been alerted that our opponents have paid N150,000,000 (One Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) for all these transactions. Even though we may not believe this rumour, we cannot take chances this time around.

24)  It is in the light of the foregoing facts that we humbly request that an URGENT investigation be conducted into:

1)      The circumstances in which Justice Kafarati granted the orders which he made on 26th January 2011 in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/28/2011: Olurin vs. INEC & Ors which orders frustrated us out of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

2)      The circumstances in which cases filed in the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court involving the Dayo Soremi faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ogun State got assigned to Justice Kafarati.

3)      The circumstances in which an application filed on 9th March 2011 in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/28/2011 with an affidavit of urgency was scheduled by Justice Kafarati for hearing on 25th April, 2011 after the general elections would have been concluded whilst a motion filed in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/377/2011 on 22nd March, 2011 was scheduled by Justice Kafarati for hearing on 31st March, 2011 when the two applications were in respect of the same URGENT subject matter i.e. general elections in Ogun State.

4)      The circumstances in which Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/377/2011 instituted by Dayo Soremi which relates to the nomination of candidates for election in Ogun State was accepted for filing in the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court and assigned to the same Justice Kafarati despite the Acting Chief Judge’s circular dated 16th March 2011.”

25)  We therefore appeal to you to use your good offices to ensure that the unconscionable and wicked Justice Kafarati allows another Judge of the Federal High Court to hear Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/377/2011.

26)  In appealing that another Judge be allowed to hear the suit by which our opponents seek to stop us from contesting the general elections ostensibly because of our popularity in Ogun State; we are not unmindful of their open boast all over the place that Justice Auta the Acting Chief Judge has a personal relationship with PRINCE BURUJI KASHAMU who is the financial pillar of the DAYO SOREMI faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

27)  We therefore urge that National Judicial Council and the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court intervene, as a matter of EXTREME URGENCY, to ensure that our constitutional rights are not once against aborted by an obviously and brazenly partisan Justice Abdul Kafarati of Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, and that justice is not only done to us but is manifestly seen to have been done.

Yours faithfully,

Dated this 28th Day of March, 2011.

Signed:

S/N    NAMES    SIGNATURE
1.    Prince Gboyega Nasir Isiaka
Governorship
2.    Waliu O. Taiwo
Ogun West Senatorial
3.    Adesina B. Akeem
Odeda/Owode/Abeokuta North
4.    Hassan S. Olawale
Ado-Odo Ota
5.    Adewusi Tunde Rasak
Egbado N./Imeko Afon
6.    Badru S. Makanjuola
Egbado South/Ipokia
7.    Obadina O. Bamidele
Ifo/Ewekoro
8.    Adekoya A. Abdel-Majid
Ijebu East/North Ogun Waterside
9.    Gbenga Oduwaye
Ijebu Ode/Odogbolu/Ijebu N.E.

Cc:

1.      The Deputy Chairman,
National Judicial Council (NJC),
Supreme Court Complex,
Three Arms Zone,
FCT, Abuja.

2.      The President,
Court of Appeal,
FCT, Abuja.

3.      The President,
Nigerian Bar Association,
Abuja.

4.      The Chairman
NBA Disciplinary Committee
Abuja.

5.      The Chairman,
Economic & Financial Crimes Commission,
Abuja.

6.      The Acting Chairman,
Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission,
Abuja.

7.      The National Human Right Commission,
Abuja.

8.      The Chairman,
Senate Committee on the Judiciary,
Abuja.

9.      The Chairman,
House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary,
Abuja.

10.  The Unites States Ambassador to Nigeria
The US American Embassy,
Abuja.

11.  The British High Commissioner to Nigeria
The High Commission,
Abuja.

12.  The Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria
Commission,
Abuja.

————————————
Yemi Oke
PhD; LL.M (Osgoode, Canada)
LL.B (Ilorin); B.L(Abuja, Nig.)
In search of the “SOLUTION”


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