13 February 2013

Nigeria: PDP Crisis Deepens, As Party Opposes Oyinlola's Application to Stop Judgment

The crisis rocking the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took a new turn Tuesday before Justice Abdul Kafarati of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja as the party openly opposed an application by the sacked National Secretary of the party, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, to stop the execution of the judgment which removed him from office.

Counsel to the party, Joe Kyari Gadzama (SAN) Tuesday opposed the application for stay brought by Oyinlola seeking to stay the earlier judgment of the court.

Oyinlola, through his counsel, had prayed the court for a stay of execution of its January 11 judgment removing him from office as national scribe of the ruling party, pending the hearing and determination of an appeal before the Court of Appeal in Abuja.

Specifically Oyinlola had argued that the court did not make any order for the benefit of the PDP and so it could not have proceeded to enforce same.

According to him, it is not in the place of any of the parties to claim that the order has been executed and so there was nothing to stay.

But in a counter-affidavit brought Gadzama, he informed the court that the party opposed the application for stay of execution both factually and legally.

Gadzama argued that the executory order of the court was made on January 11 and the applicant slept and woke up on January 21, almost two weeks later.

According to him, the executory orders of the court were complied forthwith on the 11th January by the PDP and Oyinlola also complied with the executory orders of the court.

He said: "There is nothing to stay and this application ought not to stay in this court," Gadzama added.

He therefore urged the court to dismiss the application saying, since they had slept and just woke up, it pre supposed that if they got an order of stay, they would go and sleep again.

Counsel to the Ogun State PDP who is the plaintiff in the case, A. Oluyede, prayed the court to dismiss Oyinlola's motion with cost.

Oluyede submitted that it was not in controversy that the applicant was no longer the National Secretary of the PDP, adding that he (Oyinlola) was a contempt nor and until the court determined the pending application of contempt, he could not be heard.

In its own argument, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) urged the court to determine the pending application on its merit.

Counsel to the commission, W. T. Lorshe, urged the court to exercise discretion on the merit because, as an independent body, it would obey the decision of the court.

After listening to all the parties, Justice Kafarati adjourned till March 21 for ruling.

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