15 January 2013

Nigeria: PDP Tussle - Onwe Replaces Oyinlola As National Secretary

Photo: This Day
Alhaji Bamanga Tukur

The power play in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has yet to end. Yesterday, the national chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, directed the deputy national secretary, Solomon Onwe, to immediately take over the office of the national secretary in acting capacity.

Tukur's action stemmed from the judgement last Friday of the court led by Justice Abdu Kafarati: the national secretary, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, was sent packing.

Chairman of the party in Ogun State Mr. Adebayo Dayo had challenged the nomination of Oyinlola by the south-west caucus on the ground that two court judgements had nullified the south-west zonal congress which produced Oyinlola as PDP national secretary.

Tukur, in a letter to the embattled national secretary, said he derived his powers from the party's constitution and has directed all offices at all levels to comply with the directive.

Tukur's letter to Oyinlola read: "Pursuant to the powers conferred on the National Chairman by Chapter V Section 35 (1), 35 (1)(b) as well as section 36(2) of the constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party (as amended), the the Deputy National Secretary of the PDP, Barr. Solomon Onwe is hereby directed to assume duties as the Acting National Secretary of the PDP.

"Barr. Onwe shall by this directive conduct all correspondence of the party, issue notices of meetings of the National Convention, the National Executive Committee, the National Caucus and the National Working Committee as stipulated in the Constitution of our great Party.

"This directive takes immediate effect and is hereby communicated to all the levels and offices of the Party. "

What signalled a bad day for Oyinlola began with the cancellation of a proposed meeting of the NWC which, LEADERSHIP gathered, could not hold as most NWC members absconded.

The arrival of J.K. Gadzama, SAN, to the PDP headquarters did not help matters either as no sooner had the legal luminary stepped into the premises than speculations began to mount as to his mission. While some said he had come to advise Tukur, others said he had been invited to "properly guide the party".

Tukur and Oyinlola have been at daggers drawn; the latter is accused of undertaking the dealings of PDP governors in the party, a move which led to the 10-man NWC meeting last Tuesday where they rescinded the decision to dissolve the Mijinyawa Kugama-led exco in Adamawa State.

Oyinlola approaches appeal court to regain his seat

The national secretary of the PDP, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who was sacked by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja last week, lodged an appeal before the Court of Appeal in Abuja yesterday asking it to set aside the judgement of the trial court.

Oyinlola, who averred that the judgement was against the weight of evidence placed before the trial court, said that the trial judge erred in law when he overruled the preliminary objection to the jurisdiction of the court and assumed jurisdiction and delivered judgement.

He said that the high court did not have the jurisdiction to hear the case because the defendants were not agencies of the federal government.

Oyinlola further told the appeal court that the subject matter of the suit was an intra-party dispute which clearly was not justiciable and that the Federal High Court and indeed no court of law had jurisdiction over the subject matter of the suit.

He further submitted that the judge erred in law when the court disregarded the ruling of the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal in CA/35/12 delivered on June 25, 2012.

He therefore asked the court for an order reversing the judgement of the trial judge and substituting thereto an order striking out and or dismissing the entire action with costs.

Investigations at both the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal showed that the appeal, though prepared by his lawyers, was yet to be filed.

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