By Ikechukwu Nnochiri, Abuja
Justice Abdul Kafarati of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, yesterday, ordered the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to delete the name of former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola from their records as the National Secretary of the PDP.
Ruling on a motion on notice that was filed before the court by the Ogun State chapter of the PDP, Justice Kafarati, directed the party and the electoral body to rather recognise one Professor Adewale Oladapo, who it said was duly nominated by the Southwest PDP extra-ordinary zonal congress held in Ibadan, Oyo State, on July 13 this year.
Besides, Justice Kafarati who noted that the High Court had on January 11, sacked Oyinlola from office and ordered a fresh PDP Zonal Congress in the South-West region of the country, said the order remained valid till July 13.
The Judge maintained that having gone through all the documents tendered before the court by the plaintiffs, led by PDP National Chairman in Ogun State, Mr Adebayo Dayo and the Secretary, Mr Semiu Sodipo, he was satisfied that Prof Oladipo was validly nominated by the congress to replace Oyinlola in office.
The plaintiffs had listed Oyinlola, PDP and INEC as defendants in the suit.
While granting the plaintiffs’ prayers yesterday, the Judge, dismissed Oyinlola’s argument that the court had become funtus officio on the matter, having earlier delivered a judgment in the case.
Justice Karafati said the plaintiff’s application was neither meant to re-open the case nor effect changes to the earlier judgment, but aimed at regularising 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 pending appeal.
He said there was no evidence before the court that the record in respect of Oyinlola’s appeal has been transmitted to the appellate court.
Justice Abdul-Kafarati held that the mere filing of a notice of appeal does not serve as a ground to stay proceedings.
Nevertheless, the judge, yesterday, refused attempt by the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Mr 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.
Consequently, the judge advised the applicants to file fresh affidavit indicating the failed attempts they had made to serve the defendants.
Specifically, the plaintiffs, in their contempt suit, are praying the court to commit Oyinlola to prison over his alleged continuous claim to being the party’s National Secretary despite his sack.
They are equally praying the court to jail Baraje and Jaja for allegedly encouraging Oyinlola to flout a valid court judgment.