- Last Updated on 11 January 2013
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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Friday ordered former of Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola to vacate the position of National Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Oyinlola had been involved in a long-running battle with some aggrieved members of his party, who went to court to contest his emergence as National Secretary of the party.
The plaintiffs, Chief Adebayo Dayo and Alhaji Semiu Sodipo, filed the suit against Oyinlola, the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on behalf of the Ogun State Executive Committee of the PDP, questioning the validity of nominating the former governor as candidate of the South West Zonal Chapter of the PDP and his subsequent election into the office.
The plaintiffs claimed that Oyinlola’s candidature was not recognised by the South West Zone of the party and that the zone had no inputs in his nomination and subsequent election although the position was zoned to the area by the party.
Praying the court for an order committing Oyinlola to prison for a period as the court might deem fit in the circumstances of his commission of criminal contempt, they further sought a declaration that INEC could not continue to recognise him as a PDP official.
They pleaded with the court to determine whether the convention that produced Oyinlola was valid, judging by the two pending cases against the action.
In his judgment, Justice Abdul Kafarati, who presided over the case, declared Oyinlola's election to the position a “flagrant violation” of two court orders issued earlier.
The judge said his judgement was based on evidence before the court that the two separate orders from a court in Lagos dated 27/4/2012 and 2/5/2012 existed and that they ordered the stoppage of the conduct of Congress that made Oyinlola as South West candidate for the position.
He expressed the court’s conviction that those orders were given based on the pendency of a suit against the nomination of the second respondent (Oyinlola).
“The action of those officials who went ahead to conduct the congress was criminal and against the rule of law and they could have been committed to prison,” he said. “Oyinlola is to immediately stop parading himself as National Secretary of the PDP.”
Oyinlola, who believes that there were misrepresentations of facts in the matter that led to the judgement, has already stated his intention to appeal it.