Ogun PDP: INEC reverses self, recognises Dayo-led exco

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reversed itself having decided to recognize the Adebayo Dayo as the Ogun State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as against Sikirulai Ogundele which the electoral body had previously recognized.

The state chapter of the party had been torn between the two men with the national leadership of the party also recognizing the Ogundele faction with both of them locked in several court cases.

The Federal High Court, Lagos however, recently gave a judgement which has now caused INEC to transfer its recognition to Dayo.

INEC had, in a letter dated April 12, 2018 addressed to the law firm of Ricky Tarfa, SAN, representing Dayo, conveyed to it, its compliance with the court judgment.

The INEC letter titled, “Re: Gross Violation and Disrespect to Subsisting and Valid Judgment of Court by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) With Respect to Recognition of Ogun State Executive Committee of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),” also said the Commission, in compliance with the Judgment of the Federal High Court, Lagos in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/1556/2017 delivered on 9th February, 2018, had notified the National Chairman of the PDP of its compliance with the said judgment.”

In the letter to the National Chairman of the PDP, INEC advanced reasons for recognizing the Dayo-led state leadership of the party.

In it, INEC stated in part:  “You may recall that the National Convention of the PDP on 12th August, 2017 dissolved the Engr. Adebayo Dayo-led Ogun State Executive Committee of the PDP and a Congress was conducted at which the current members of the Ogun State Executive Committee were elected.

“After the said congress, the Commission was served with the attached judgment of the Federal High Court, Lagos delivered on 9thFebruary, 2018 in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/1556/2017 wherein the Court ordered as follows:

“I have considered the arguments of counsel on the issues of precedence and abuse of court process and I find myself in disagreement with counsel for the Defendants.

“The reasons being, first on the argument that the issues raised by the Plaintiff have been dealt with in the case of PDP VS. SHERIFF, this position is untrue and misleading. The primary contention in that case was over the seat of the chairman of the National Caretaker Committee while the issue in this case is regarding the Ogun State delegates representing the party at the National Convention…that the parties herein are bound by the decision of this Court in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/636/2016 delivered by Buba J. on the 24th day of June 2016 and Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/701/2017 until they are set aside by a Court of competent jurisdiction.”

“Consequently, the Commission shall comply with the said judgment of the Federal High Court. Please be guided accordingly.”

INEC’s letter is ostensibly in response to the one written by Tarfa on the 26th of March, 2018 in which the lawyer had demanded its compliance with the judgment of the court in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/1556/2017.

Dayo belongs to the faction supported by the senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Senator Buruji Kashamu who himself had written to the Commission demanding its compliance with the judgement.

In his reaction to INEC’s decision to recognize his exco in compliance with the court judgment, Dayo proclaimed that it was a victory for democracy.

He said: “There was no victor, no vanquished.This is not the time to score cheap political points or celebrate over anyone. The party has won; democracy has won and the Rule of Law has won. It is victory for all our party leaders, elders and members. We all – aspirants, leaders and followers – need to come together and embrace peace and work in unity for the task ahead of us as a party. Let us forget the past and join hands to work for a glorious future,” Dayo said.

The party chairman hoped that all members of the party would come together to work for its success.

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, could not be reached for his confirmation.

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