By Akinwale Akintunde
The Ogun State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Buruji Kashamu, has said 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.
Kashamu, who spoke to journalists in Lagos Thursday, explained that the Court of Appeal judgment, which many have misinterpreted to have sacked him as the PDP candidate in Ogun State was not a pre-election matter, adding that the court could not have pronounced on the nomination of candidates, let alone sacking him or anyone for that matter.
The governorship candidate, who expressed his dismay about the reports of a section of the media, interpreting the judgment to have sacked him and other candidates, explained, “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 stated.
According to him, 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?
“It should be noted that INEC, as a law-abiding institution, has since communicated its decision to recognise and deal ONLY with the Engr. Adebayo Dayo-led Ogun State PDP Exco to the national leadership of our party.
“In the 25th of October, 2018 letter written by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), it was emphatically stated that its decision to accept the list of candidates submitted by the Engr. Adebayo Dayo-led Exco was predicated on three court suits, namely FHC/L/CS/636/2016, FHC/L/CS/1556/2017 and FHC/AB/CS/114/2018. It is only the interlocutory orders in FHC/AB/CS/114/2018 that were set aside. The full and final judgments in FHC/L/CS/636/2016 and FHC/L/CS/1556/2017 in favour of the Engr. Adebayo Dayo-led Ogun State PDP Exco which are yet to be set aside. It should also be pointed out that based on the judgments in FHC/L/CS/636/2016 and FHC/L/CS/1556/2017 in favour of the Engr. Adebayo Dayo-led Ogun State PDP Exco, INEC had in an earlier letter dated 12th April, 2018, informed the PDP of the commission’s compliance with the two judgments of the Federal High Court”, he added.
Kashamu took a swipe at the Peoples Democratic Party’s national headquarters for taking sides in the internal crisis in Ogun State chapter of the party.
According to him, what the party should have done was to mediate between the feuding parties with a view to finding a lasting solution to the crisis.
He said if the party was interested in winning in the state, it should be seen trying to bring the feuding parties together rather than taking sides with one against the other.