By DAUD OLATUNJI
ABEOKUTA – Twenty–four hours after a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos restrained Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission, OGSIEC, from going ahead with the conduct of the local government election slated for July 21, the electoral body has announced its decision to recognise ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state.
The electoral body, therefore, declared that it was not duty-bound to respect the Federal High Court ruling which ordered it to stay action on it, saying that there has never been any categorical court order which prohibits the commission as a statutory body from conducting the election.
At a briefing, yesterday, in Abeokuta, the commission’s spokesperson, Mutiu Agboke, it (commission) had contacted the national body of the party and has been directed to recognise a faction led by the caretaker chairman of the party, Ireti Oliyide.
It will be recalled that a Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday restrained the electoral body from taking further action in respect of the election in the state pending the hearing of a contempt proceeding against some chieftains of PDP.
Reacting to the media report that OGSIEC had been restrained from conducting the election, Agboke, who said that contempt proceeding was as good as criminal proceeding, maintained that OGSIEC was a statutory commission which could not be sued in the matter for which the purported court ruling premised, stressing that it was not bound to obey such ruling.
He recalled that a Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, had stayed the execution of the judgment earlier given by Justice Charles Archibong of the Federal High Court.