Okwe Obi, Abuja
The political imbroglio besetting the Social Democratic Party (SDP), seems to be getting worst, as its National Chairman, Chief Olu Falae, has declined to take part in the unveiling of Prof. Jerry Gana’s presidential campaign organisation ahead of next year’s elections.
Gana had sought the leave of the national chairman to unveil the vision and programme of his presidential campaign and, invited him as chief host at both the event on December 29, and at the summit of stakeholders slated for January 5.
But in a statement signed by the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, he explained that honouring such invitation would be tantamount to disobeying court process.
His words: “The National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Chief Olu Falae, has received a letter dated December 27, 2018, from Prof. Jerry Gana, seeking “leave of the National Chairman ” to ” unveil the vision and programme ” of his presidential campaign and, inviting him as “Chief Host ” at both the “unveiling ” on Saturday December 29, 2018 and at the “Summit of Stakeholders, ” which he is planning for Saturday January 5, 2019.
“Earlier correspondence from Prof. Jerry Gana makes it clear that he is basing these proposals on the judgement of the FCT High Court dated 14th December 2018.
“The counsel of all the five defendants in the case (including our Party SDP), Wole Olanipekun & Co, has already appealed to the Court of Appeal against that judgement.
“We have also, through our counsel, filed a motion at the Court of Appeal, praying for certain reliefs including stay of execution of the judgement of the High Court and injunctive reliefs against Prof Jerry Gana, pending the determination of the appeal.
“All the relevant processes have been served on Prof. Jerry Gana’s counsel.
“In the light of the foregoing, we cannot and should not attend any of the events being scheduled by Prof. Jerry Gana and his campaign committee as it will amount to a breach of the court process and may amount to contempt of court,” he maintained.
Regardless, Falae “appealed to all party officials to stay calm and refrain from participating in actions designed to pre-empt the courts, stressing that “we must remain loyal to the party which is more important than any of us,” he added.