By Henry Umoru, Abuja & Daud Olatunji, Abeokuta
THE crises rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has taken another twist as the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP yesterday bowed to Court judgement, moved against former President Olusegun Obasanjo and sacked the National Auditor, Chief Bode Mustapha.
According to PDP, Mustapha who was former President Obasanjo’s person will be replaced by Alhaji Fatai Adewole Adeyanju as the dully elected National Auditor in the March 2012 congress.
Rising from its meeting in Abuja after discussing Report of the Decision of PDP NWC on Ogun State Exco & South West Zone Exco, the Alhaji Bamanga Tukur led National Working Committee, NWC also approved the removal of the former governor of Ekiti State and the National Vice Chairman, South West, Engr. Segun Oni, just as the entire Executive of the South West Zonal Executive that came on board March 2012 was nullified.
Bode Mustapha, Oni and other South West Executives were believed to have been anointed by former President Obasanjo in March last year.
The National leadership of the PDP in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, explained that as a law abiding institution, it became imperative to adhere strictly to the ruling of the Appeal Court which had sacked them.
The PDP also yesterday put in place a 17-member Caretaker Committee to run the affairs of South West Zone of the party. The Committee which has Ishola Filani as Chairman, has Chief Pegba Otemolu as Zonal Secretary; Adedeji Doherty as Organizing Secretary; Rasak Adekonla Akanni as Auditor; Bolaji Jeje as Youth Leader; Orimolade Olanrewaju as Treasurer; Olawunmi Oshinmoluke Yuba, as Woman Leader; Banji Obasanmi as Financial Secretary; Barrister Shola Oludipe, as Legal Adviser; Lawal Waheed Olatunde as Publicity Secretary; Emmanuel Oladejo as – Ex-Officio; Olalekan Abubakar as Ex-Officio; Seun Adesanya, as Ex-Officio; Samiu Babatunde, as Ex-Officio; Prince Tope Ademiluyi, as Ex-Officio; Tunde Olowofoyeku, as Ex-Officio and Prince Omoniyi Alo, as another Ex-Officio.
The statement read, ‘’The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party has announced the constitution of a Caretaker Committee to pilot the affairs of the South West Zone of the Party pending the conduct of the Zonal Congresses. The 17 member committee is headed by Barrister Ishola Filani as Zonal Chairman.’’
The removal of Mustapha is coming more than eight months after Justice Charles Archibong of the Federal High Court in Lagos voided his appointment as the National Auditor of the PDP on the grounds that he was not qualified for the office and against the backdrop that he was not a Chartered Accountant.
It will also be recalled that Justice Charles Archibong had ordered that the PDP, its National Chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur, and the then National Secretary, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola to appoint Alhaji Fatai Adewole Adeyanju, being a qualified chartered accountant and nominated for the office at the state congress of the party in Ogun State.
The court further ordered the nullification of the last Southwest zonal congress of the party and ordered the party, Tukur and Oyinlola to give access and right of participation at a fresh congress to the delegates elected by the Soremi-led executive and accept for offices zoned to the Southwest, only the nominees of the Soremi Executive.
This verdict of the court was based on a suit filed by Chief Adebayo Dayo, and Alhaji Semiu Sodipo, for themselves and on behalf of the Ogun State Executive Committee of the PDP. The suit numbered: FHC/L/CS/347/2012 had PDP, Bamanga Tukur, Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Bode Mustapha as defendants.
Metuh’s statement read, ‘’following protracted dispute on the Ogun State and South West Zonal Exco of the party, a series of suits were filed on the matter, amongst which include FHC/L/CS/1248/2011, FHC/L/CS/282/2012 and FHC/L/CS/347/2012.
‘’That Chief Bode Mustapha is removed from office as the National Auditor of the Peoples Democratic Party; That Alhaji Fatai Adewole Adeyanju is the validly elected National Auditor of the Peoples Democratic Party; ‘’That the Peoples Democratic Party is to rectify its records by deleting the name of Chief Bode Mustapha as National Auditor and replacing the same with Alhaji Fatai Adewole Adeyanju; That the South West Zonal Congress of the Peoples Democratic Party conducted in March 2012 is nullified;
‘’That the Executive Committee constituted for the PDP in Ogun State at Congresses conducted by the Bashorun Dayo Soremi led harmonized Executive Committee for the Wards, Local Governments and in the State in March 2012 are valid Exco of the Party at the various levels in Ogun State and are entitled to their 4-years tenure (the State Exco list is attached herewith); ‘’That the PDP is to organize a fresh South West Zonal Congress at which access is to be given to delegates elected at congresses conducted by or under the supervision of the Soremi-led Ogun State Executive and accept the candidacy, for offices zoned to Ogun State, of only the persons nominated at the said congresses for the said offices.
‘’The National working Committee of the Party met on 14th February 2013 and gave careful consideration to the issues and decided that, in line with respect to the rule of law which is a cardinal principle of the present administration, the PDP as a law abiding party, will immediately comply with the said judgment. This is all the more so that same has not been set aside or reversed by any superior court.’’
Tukur wants to destroy PDP — Obasanjo’s faction
The faction of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in Ogun State“believed to be loyal to former President Olusegun Obasanjo on“yesterday described the step taken by the National Working Committee, NWC,“which sacked its executive as a plan to destroy the party.“ Reacting to the press statement issued by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh announcing the replacement of “Obasanjo’s faction of the state executive with Kashamu’s faction ,“and the removal of Bode Mustapha as the National Auditor ,the“factional State Secretary, Dapo Adeyemi said they were yet to be“formally informed.“
Adeyemi said “the news came to us and others through verbal report,the state chapter is yet to be informed officially, but, if that is the position of the national body, it is a good signal to the growthof the party. We just heard about it some 20minutes ago, we have not heard it officially.
Whatever the national leadership deems fit, let them go ahead. If they want to destroy the party, let them go ahead, let them continue, no problem,”the party scribe stated.
Adeyemi said that ironically, the national working committee of the party “had not contributed a penny to the success and administration of the party, since inception.“
However, the Buruji Kashamu faction of the party in its reaction said, “the party was now following the rule of law, with the latest development“
The factional Chairman said that with the new development,”the party was ready to regain its lost glory.”