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Federal High Court nullifies PDP South-West congress


May 18, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ NEWS and Gossip


 

Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday, nullified the South West zonal congress of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held last weekend.
Counsel who represented the party and its National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu-Sherif, Dr. Yemi Oke and the plaintiff’s counsel, Ajibola Oluyede traded words before the court on the issue of how the plaintiff and incumbent zonal Secretary of the party in the region, Chief ‘Pegba Otemolu procured an order of the court, which restrained the party from holding election in the zone.
Reports indicated at the weekend that the PDP held its congress in the zone.
Before Justice Buba nullified the election, counsel of the party and its national chairman told the court that the party and its chairman were not aware of the suit which the plaintiff allegedly used to procure the said order.
Oke accused the plaintiff, Otemolu, of fraudulently obtaining the order and said neither the party nor its national chairman were aware of the said suit and they did not authorise any lawyer to represent them in court on the subject matter.
The counsel, however, informed the court of his two pending applications; the first one filed by the party, is seeking an order of the court staying execution on its order delivered on May 11, which refrained the party from conducting election, staying proceeding in the matter pending determination of appeal filed against it and, also, an order of injunction restraining the plaintiff from implanting the said order.
The application of the party national chairman prayed the court for an order setting aside the proceeding which led to the order of the court which restrained its party from conducting election and an order declining jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
The plaintiff’s counsel, Oluyede, in his reaction to the allegation, urged the court to ignore the submission of the respondents and said the respondents’ counsel did not lay any foundation before the court regarding its accusation.
He informed the court of his pending application, the application praying the court for an order nullifying South-West congress of the party which he alleged was conducted in defiance of the court order.
Oluyede told the court that the application had been served on the respondents but, in a swift reaction, Oke told the court that his clients were yet to receive any application regarding that. Besides, he said since the application was not an exparte motion, it could not be heard because the respondent still have seven days to reply the application and also filed counter affidavit.
After listening to accusations and counter accusations and the argument of both parties, Justice Buba held that all the applications were before him but the first issue to determine was whether or not the respondents disobey the court order which restrained them from conducting election.
According to the court, the application to nullified the election was first brought as exparte motion on Monday but the court declined to hear it, ordering the plaintiff to make it motion on notice and served the respondents.
The court held that from the evidence before it, the respondents disobeyed the court order and it showed in the court file that the respondents were served on the said application.
“Judgment or ruling of court is valid until it is set aside by high court, I hear by nullify the election,” he said.

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