By Dapo Akinrefon, Dirisu Yakubu & Henry Ojelu
LAGOS—THE crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic, PDP, in Ogun State, worsened, yesterday, as Senator Buruji Kashamu, insisted that he remains the party’s candidate despite the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Ibadan, which set aside an order by the Federal High Court, Abeokuta, which was favourable to his faction of the party.
The PDP, however, faulted Kashamu’s position saying the Appeal Court judgement has settled the crisis rocking the party in Ogun State.
Addressing journalists in Lagos, Kashamu said: “The Court of Appeal said in its judgment that the matter before it was not a pre-election matter. Hence, it could not have pronounced on the nomination of candidates, let alone sacking me or anyone for that matter. That was not the prayers of PDP and its officers who are the appellants in the matter and so such a prayer could not have been granted.
“Some have erroneously said that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, accepted our list of candidates for the 2019 general election based on the interlocutory orders of the Federal High Court, Abeokuta, which have now been set aside, then our nomination as candidates of the Ogun State PDP has been nullified. That cannot be true because the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court had in a full and final judgment delivered on the 24th of June, 2016.
“Not satisfied, the other group appealed. On the 4th of May, 2017, the appeal was dismissed. Still not satisfied, they asked the Court of Appeal to relist the appeal. Again, on the 11th of July, 2018, the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal in a well-considered ruling held that the appeal remained dismissed. It is the refusal by the Court of Appeal to relist the appeal that is now pending at the Supreme Court.”
Kashamu added that the two orders granted by the Federal High Court, Abeokuta, in Suit No. FHC/AB/CS/114/2018, were made in a judgment enforcement proceedings.
“The first was in relation to the National Convention held between October 5 and 6, 2018. The second order was for INEC to accept, process and publish our list of candidates for the 2019 general election. Clearly, the request to set aside the orders of the Federal High Court, Abeokuta, has been overtaken by events. The National Convention has come and gone. INEC has also complied with the orders of court and the subsisting judgments. So, how does the decision setting aside the orders of the Federal High Court affect us?”
Also speaking, Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Diran Odeyemi said: “We call on him to embrace our candidate, Ladi Adebutu who passed through the laid down procedures and guidelines of the party.
“Senator Kashamu should seek the help of his lawyer to help interpret for him the ruling of the Appeal Court because the party is aware that he has approached the Supreme Court having lost out at the Appellate court. Going to the apex court shows that he has recognized that Hon. Adebutu is our candidate.”
We’ll be law abiding— INEC
When contacted, Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi said the Commission will be law abiding as regards the crisis in Ogun PDP.
Oyekanmi said: “I am not aware of any letter from the PDP as I speak though I will check. The only thing I will say regarding the judgement of the court is that INEC will be law abiding. If the Appeal Court rules that certain actions should be taken in respect of any political party or candidate, as INEC is served, we will obey.”