Intra-Party Crisis: Oyinlola’s Counsel Urges PDP To Tread Softly

20131029-062204.jpgThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been cautioned “to tread slowly in order not to render superior courts of records toothless’’ in its current attempts to enforce disciplinary actions against the National Secretary of the Party, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja and Ambassador Ibrahim Kazaure, who have all been accused of violating some provisions of the PDP constitution.

The four officials of the party have been arraigned before the Umaru Dikko led disciplinary committee of the Party.

In a correspondence dated November 21, 2013, addressed and forwarded to the National Chairman of the PDP and signed by Mr. Awa Kalu, SAN, representing Oyinlola and others; the counsel informed the National Chairman and the PDP that he had instructions of the four officials invited to appear before the disciplinary panel next Wednesday to act on their behalf in the matter under reference.

“Our instruction is that notwithstanding pending litigations, the distinguished party of which you are the national chairman, intends to put machinery in motion aimed at making mockery of the Judicial process and thus the Rule of Law’’. May we respectfully inform you that Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/774/13, (Prince Oyinlola and 3 Others vs PDP and Another) is presently pending in Court No 6 of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division’’. In addition, there is a pending appeal at the Supreme Court arising from the Court of Appeal Suit No CA/A/84/2013 (Chief Adebayo Dayo & Another vs Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola & 2 Others) in which the Court of Appeal in which the Court of Appeal dealt with the subject matter of your intended disciplinary proceedings’’.

“It is on the basis of the above that we urge you to tread slowly in order not to render superior courts toothless.’’

Recall that nPDP has also berated the alleged summoning of the PDP National Secretary, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, New PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, National Deputy Chairman, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja, and the National Vice-Chairman, North West, Ambassador Ibrahim Kazaure to the PDP Disciplinary Committee headed by Second Republic Minister, Alhaji Umaru Dikko.

A statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of nPDP, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze and made available to Blank NEWS Online on Thursday, November 21, 2013 and reads:

“Our initial reaction was to ignore these reports since the PDP Constitution does not recognize the existence of the so-called Dikko Committee as due process was not followed in its establishment. Besides, the fact that the committee – if at all it exists – did not have the courtesy to directly invite the accused to appear before it strips it of any atom of seriousness.

“Even so, we have decided to react to the reports dust to enquiries by the media. For the avoidance of doubt, the New PDP wishes to state unequivocally that neither the aforesaid leaders nor any other nPDP member for that matter will appear before the Dikko Committee either next week Wednesday, November 27, or at any other date for that matter. The committee is an illegality and alien to PDP and its members. It is not our intention to confer legitimacy on such an illegal contraption by self-serving politicians intent on destroying a house the building of which they were not a part.

“As clearly spelt out in the PDP Constitution, the Disciplinary Committee can only be operational when the National Executive Committee (NEC) of PDP sits and approves it. In the absence of any such approval by the PDP NEC, whatever function the committee is deemed to be performing is null and void. In other words, asking great personalities such as Alhaji Baraje, Prince Oyinlola, Dr. Jaja and Ambassador Kazaure to appear before the Dikko Committee is an insult and an attempt to past through the back door to confer undeserved creditability on this illegal contraption.

“It is unfortunate that factional PDP Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, has succeeded in reducing the party to such a lowly level where due process is now alien to the party’s operations. Otherwise, how could these great men whose contributions towards the growth of PDP cannot be questioned be invited through the pages of the newspapers?

“We have a lot of respect for Alhaji Umaru Dikko as a person. That notwithstanding, we must observe that it is sad that Dikko should accept such an unholy task just because Alhaji Bamanga Tukur feels like using the appointment to thank him for helping him secure the gubernatorial ticket of the defunct Gongola State during their days in the defunct NPN. As the National Chairman of United Democratic Party UDP, Dikko should have known that he cannot jump ship to chair an illegal body in PDP as if we lack credible people that can perform this task without creating problems for the party.

“We challenge the Dikko Committee to prove its seriousness by starting with the trial on Tukur and his cohorts for anti-party activities, specifically as displayed during last weekend’s gubernatorial election in Anambara State, instead of supporting the PDP, they aligned with the APGA candidate, Chief Willie Obiano, thereby making mockery of the efforts of Comrade Tony Nwoye.

“To achieve its objective of ensuring that the APGA candidate wins the election, Tukur and his strategists employed divisive politics to ensure that PDP did not have a candidate until a few days to the election and went into the crucial poll heavily factionalised. To further strengthen the unholy plot, Tukur imposed Comrade Tony Nwoye as the party’s candidate over and above better qualified candidates and in defiance of the Independent National Electoral Commission, which did not recognize Nwoye until the Supreme Court forced the Commission to put his name on the ballot.

“Tukur and his promoters of the Anambra election have demonstrated enough disdain and hatred for the progress of PDP as a party and this is very unfortunate and sad. According to facts, this was done in order for APGA to adopt President Jonathan as its presidential standard-bearer come 2015. The committee should investigate this show of shame and discipline Tukur and all those involved in this wicked act against a party which they are in a hurry to destroy even when they cannot tell the story of how it was formed.

“Sadly, the loss of Anambra adds to the woes of the PDP under Tukur’s watch. Before now, the party had also lost Edo and five out of the six South-West states as well as some states in the North.

“It does not require a soothsayer to see that PDP, which is bleeding to death under Tukur’s unpopular leadership, is doomed if it continues to antagonise the G7 Governors and their followers in the nPDP. This will inevitably climax with the loss of the 2015 presidential election, by which time it would be too late to remedy the damage which Tukur has already done to a party which before his imposition used to be the pride of African politics.

“We once more wish to appeal to the PDP National Leader, President Goodluck Jonathan, the Party Elders and other Leaders of the party to rise to the occasion and ease out Tukur and his National Working Committee so as to pave the way for the enthronement of a competent and focused leadership. This is the only way to rescue the PDP from imminent death. As the adage rightly says: A stitch in time saves nine!”

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