Vanguard (Lagos)

17 January 2013

Nigeria: PDP Crisis - Govs to Shun NWC Meeting

Photo: This Day
Alhaji Bamanga Tukur

Abuja — PIQUED by what they perceived as insincerity on the part of leaders driving the reconciliation efforts in the crisis-ridden Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governors elected on the platform of the party will shun today's National Working Committee, NWC, meeting.

Vanguard gathered that the PDP governors were determined to shun the meeting until the leadership of the party fixes a date for the National Executive Committee, NEC meeting where they will be able to express their grievances before President Goodluck Jonathan, Vice President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark; Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, PDP State Chairmen and other leaders, elders and stakeholders of the party.

One of the governors told Vanguard that there was no point going to the meeting. "All along we have been attending meetings in the hope of resolving the crisis but Aso Rock has a different agenda."

The governors' stance may force the meeting to be postponed once again. When Vanguard sought to know if the meeting would hold, there was no sign as even members of the NWC who spoke, said the meeting might not hold.

Indeed, the internal crisis rocking the party further worsened, yesterday, as the legal team of the party, told a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, to stay execution on the judgment that sacked the embattled National Secretary, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, from office.

In a related development, the Acting National Secretary, Barrister Solomon Onwe who took over from Oyinlola on Tuesday has fully taken charge with almost all the paraphernalia of office provided.

Vanguard checks, yesterday, revealed that apart from escort vehicles with siren that he has not inherited, Onwe now parks at the parking space of the National Secretary at WadataPlaza, National Secretariat of the party.

Onwe consolidates hold on power

To consolidate his hold on power as well as enjoy what it takes to be the scribe of the self-acclaimed largest party in Africa, Onwe was said to have written a memo to the Director of Administration, PDP, Gurama Bawa requesting for the number of personal aides that the position attracts.

A source also disclosed that he has sent a memo to all the heads of department in the party requesting for briefing about their various departments to enable him take action.

NWC meeting holds in Tukur's house

Meanwhile, the leadership of the PDP rather than hold its weekly NWC meeting at the, National Secretariat of the party or in the alternative, the Presidential Campaign office, Legacy House, Maitama, decided to use the personal residence of the National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.

At the National Secretariat of the PDP, except the Acting National Secretary who was at the secretariat briefly, others were not seen throughout even as at the time of this report.

Vanguard gathered that top on their agenda was the budget of the party that is currently undergoing preparation with inputs from members of the NWC.

Asked how the meeting ended, Onwe simply replied in a text message that, "it was okay."

It will be recalled that following the sack of Oyinlola by the court, the PDP National Chairman, while exercising his constitutional role, ordered Onwe to immediately take over in an acting capacity.

Why PDP wants execution of Oyinlola's sack stayed

The PDP team led by its Legal Adviser, Mr Kwon Victor, told a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, to stay execution on the judgment that sacked Oyinlola, from office pending the hearing and determination of the party's appeal before the Court of Appeal.

The party is praying the court to restrain the beneficiary of the judgment from giving effect to, or otherwise seeking the enforcement of the judgment delivered on January 11, pending the hearing and determination of the party's appeal before the Court of Appeal.

The party also asked the court to stay the execution of Oyinlola's sack pending determination of the appeal before the appellate court in Abuja, arguing that it (PDP) was dissatisfied with the High Court Judgment.

"The appeal raised substantial and arguable issues of law which were recondite," Victor argued, adding that the court was empowered to stay the execution of all orders of the court granted by way of reliefs contained in the judgment of the court delivered on January 11.

PDP argued that granting the application would ensure that its appeal was not rendered nugatory, adding that refusal of the application would make it difficult for the party to return to status quo should the appeal succeed.

It will be recalled that Oyinlola was ousted from office by a Federal High Court, Abuja last Friday. He had appealed the decision, praying the appellate court that trial Justice Abdul Kafarati erred in law when he assumed jurisdiction over a dispute he said bordered on intra-party affair.

He argued that not only did Justice Karafati over-reach his powers, but also went ahead to sack him from office "against the weight of evidence."

He contended that "the learned trial Judge erred in law when he overruled the preliminary objection to the jurisdiction of the court and assumed jurisdiction and delivered judgment."

Oyinlola was ordered to vacate his office after the high court held that there was merit in a suit against him by chieftains of PDP in OgunState.

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