Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola
I’ll appeal the judgement, says former governor
By Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
A Federal High Court in Abuja, Friday removed the national secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola from Office.
The court took the action while ruling on a suit filed by the Ogun State chapter of the party.
But Oyinlola has indicated that he would appeal the judgement.
"I'm going to appeal the judgement. There is no doubt about it," he said.
The chairman of PDP in Ogun State, Mr. Adebayo Dayo, had challenged the nomination of Oyinlola by the South-West Caucus on the grounds that two court judgments had nullified the South-West zonal congress through which he was nominated.
Listed as the defendants along with Oyinlola were PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Delivering judgement in the suit, Justice Abdul Kafarati, held that the action of PDP and Oyinlola amounted to criminal conduct liable to prison terms due to flagrant disobedience to two court orders.
He ruled that Oyinlola was not worthy to be recognised as the national secretary of the party and should as a result vacate the office immediately.
He also held that Oyinlola could not have emerged as the nominee of the PDP in view of the two court judgement which nullified the congress, noting that a court order must be obeyed whether valid or not.
The judge said: "The conduct of the defendants constitute flagrant disobedience to a subsisting court order and also constitute a criminal contempt of court and any step taken thereafter by the PDP secretary is a null and void."
He consequently dismissed the preliminary objection brought by the defendants. "All the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs are hereby granted," he said.
Part of the reliefs sought was an order committing Oyinlola to prison, but the court did not make any specific order as to his committal.
While speaking with journalists after the court session, Oyinlola described the judgement as miscarriage of justice.
The plaintiff had earlier argued that following the zoning of the office of PDP National Secretary to the South-West, Oyinlola was imposed as the candidate for the position by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the then National Vice Chairman (South-West), Alhaji Tajudeen Oladipo.
They further submitted that following the orders of two separate judgments of the Federal High Court, which nullified the South-West zonal congress that produced Oyinlola as candidate, the former governor should no longer be the National Secretary of the party.
As a result, they asked the court to declare Oyinlola's continuous stay in the office as invalid, null and void since his candidacy had been nullified.
The plaintiffs asked the court to compel INEC to conduct a fresh zonal congress in the South-West.
They also asked the court to order INEC to delete Oyinlola's name and replace it with that of another candidate who emerges from the fresh zonal congress.
Also, they asked the court to nullify Oyinlola's candidacy and subsequent election on the grounds that he was not a valid nominee of the South-West Zone of the PDP.