From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The South-West Zonal Caretaker Committee of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has nullified the suspension of five chieftains of the party in Ondo State, saying their suspension by the State Working Committee fell short of procedures as laid down in the party’s Constitution.
Chief Oyedele Ibini, Hon Lad Ojomo, Mr Ayo Fadaka, Hon Rasheed Elegbeleye and Hon Ebenezer Alabi were suspended by the State Working Committee of the PDP in Ondo State on December 22.
A statement on Tuesday by the Zonal Director of Media and Publicity, Lere Olayinka, said the Zonal Caretaker Committee took the decision at its meeting in Abeokuta on Monday.
The Caretaker Committee, in a letter to the Ondo State Chairman of the party, Hon Fatai Adams, a copy of which was made available to newsmen, called for restraint and urged the chairman to always ensure that his actions were in consonance with all extant laws of the party.
The letter signed by the Zonal Secretary of the party, Hon. Daisi Akintan, dated December 28, 2020, was copied to the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, Chairman of the National Reconciliation Committee, Senator Bukola Saraki and others.
It reads: ‘Sequel to the suspension of the following leaders of the party in Ondo State; Chief Oyedele Ibini, Hon Lad Ojomo, Mr Ayo Fadaka, Hon Rasheed Elegbeleye and Hon Ebenezer Alabi, and their subsequent appeals to the Zonal Committee, in line with Section 61(1) of the party’s Constitution (2017 as amended) in the grounds that they were neither queried nor given a fair hearing before they were suspended, the Committee is therefore compelled to act with immediate effect.
‘Consequent upon the above, the Committee diligently considered their appeals severally, and relying on Section 57(6), which states that “any decision taken against a member who has not been informed of the charges against him or has not been given any opportunity of defending himself, shall be null and void.”
‘It was confirmed that they were arbitrarily suspended by the State Working Committee without any preliminary hearing as demanded by the Constitution.
‘Therefore, this action falls short of procedures as laid down by the party’s Constitution.
‘In exercising its powers as stated in Section 61(2), the Zonal Caretaker Committee has therefore set aside their purported suspension from the party forthwith.
‘We also wish to advise that you exercise restraint and ensure always that all your actions must be in consonance with all extant laws of the party, especially now that the party is trying to recover from the defeat suffered at the last gubernatorial election in the state.
‘Please, note that it is inauspicious for the party to embark on any action that is capable of causing disaffection, discordancy, disillusionment and despondency among members. You are therefore advised to unite all tendencies within the party and make them work together in preparation to winning future elections.
‘It is also of utmost importance you note that the National Working Committee (NWC) in recognition of reconciliation as the key language of the moment, inaugurated a Reconciliation Committee led by HE Dr Bukola Saraki, to look into all grievances and assuage same among members. You are thus expected to refer to the Committee all complaints, issues, grievances and allegations when they arrive [at] your State any moment from now.’