From: WOLE BALOGUN, Ado-Ekiti
The war over which faction should elect the delegates to attend the Saturday, December 9 National convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was, on Monday, rested as the Appeal Court granted the prayers of the Eddy Olafeso-led zonal faction to attend the conference.
During the factional crisis, Olafeso, the National Vice Chairman, South West of the PDP, belonged to Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led caretaker committee, while Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe-led zonal executive was loyal to the ousted factional Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff.
The Supreme Court had, in a judgement delivered by Chief Justice of Nigeria(CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, recognised the Makarfi-led group.
But Makanjuola , had in a suit number FAC/AD,CS/18/2017 said the Supreme Court judgement dd not invalidate his Executive, saying the verdict only affected the National body led by Sheriff.
Makanjuola, had in the suit filed before Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Ado-Ekiti, prayed for interlocutory order to commit the Olafeso-led Executive to jail for allegedly parading themselves as authentic zonal leadership.
He also sought for interim order stopping the group from participating in the December 9 convention.
But at the Appeal Court, in Ado-Ekiti, on Monday, the PDP South West of Olafeso, through its lawyer, Sunday Olowolafe, presented its applications for prayers to vacate all orders, rulings and proceedings of the case at the lower as lacking in merit and legality.
According to Olowolafe, their application was an appeal court to stay the orders and rulings delivered by the trial court of the Federal High court, Ado-Ekiti on October 16, 17, November 8 and November 27 respectively.
Explaining the alleged efforts made to allegedly frustrate the Olafeso faction and continue to extend the rulings on the matter beyond December 9, and also allegedly commit the Olafeso factions and Makarfi party to prison, Olowolafe said: ” the orders were granted exparte on the 17the day of Oct, 2017, having filed same application on the 16 October, having known that its lifespan is 14days, it was further extended on the 8 of Nov 2017
“On that same day we were obviously in court and all parties were in court, but to our chagrin, the matter was adjourned till when God knows or when the court will call the parties at its own discretion by giving us hearing notice.
“But consequent upon that, on 27 day of November, 2017, the same court that had adjourned and briefed us to give us hearing notice when next it would sit, sat on a matter exparte, making all frantic efforts in conjunction with Makanjuola and his cohorts, attempting to commit the national chairman of PDP, secretary to the National Caretaker committee as well as the party, I don’t know how that is possible, to prison for contempt of court. On order he granted exparte having infringed on their fundamental and civil rights.
“Going by the provisions of the rule of the court of appeal, order 8, rule 2 and 3, which enables us to compile the records on our own, pleading to the court to jettison their rule allow us to compile our records and at the same proffer applications. We mobilised the Sherif of the court to serve all the records.
” in court today to our surprise, Makanjuola brought a letter, he didn’t serve us, he wrote to the judge, which is against the what the court has decided as being against the ethics of the court as documented in the 2017 13th weekly Nigerian Law report , Act 15, 81.
“At the court of appeal today, justice has been doing. I wonder how a party that are supposed to be at a convention would be restrained to be there, and those who are not party of the PDP to be parading themselves as executives of the party.
Having listened to all the Olafeso’s lawyers and Makajuola who agreed that Makarfi had won the case at the Supreme Court, justice Ahmad Belgore of the court of Appeal, Ado-Ekiti, granted all the prayers of the Olafeso led Southwest PDP, which are: “that all the Orders and rulings of the lower court delivered on the 17, Oct, 23 October, and 8, November and 27th November in 2017 have been stayed in the interim, meaning that those orders and rulings are of no value as from now and cannot be used anywhere having been rendered null and void, and that all the proceedings at the federal high court have been stayed pending the determination of the interlocutory appeal that is before the Appeal court”.
Explaining the implication of granting the prayers, Olowolafe said: “What this all means is that now there is no longer factions in the PDP consequent upon the rulings of the Supreme Court in favour of Ahmed Makarfi led National Caretaker Committee, the people going to convention on December 9, 2017 are. The authorised and authentic executives of the party in the South west led by Eddy Olafeso.”
While an a member of the PDP at the court, who did not want his name in print, alleged that the ultimate aim of Juctice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Ado-Ekiti, was to cripple the party in Ekiti State by all his earlier actions geared towards delaying justice on the matter.
Reacting the to development, Olafeso said: ” I thank all members of our great party, the PDP for this victory over the forces of darkness. Specifically, I thank our leader and Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose for his commitment to saving our party from this cankerworm. I cannot thank him enough. Today’s proceeding at the Court of Appeal, Ado-Ekiti should be a clear message to those who have used crooked judicial process to hold our party down that their game has come to an inglorious end.”