WITH the Court of Appeal reversing the sack of former Osun State Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola as the National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the party seems to be sinking into more trouble.
The court, in a judgment read yesterday by Justice Joseph Tor, held that an Abuja Federal High Court presided over by Justice Abdulkadir Abdulkafarati was wrong in its judgment of January 11, sacking Oyinlola. Oyinlola’s sack alongside others deepened the leadership crisis in the ruling party.
The court held that the application filed by the leadership of Ogun PDP, and on which basis the former governor was sacked, was an abuse of court process.
The appellate court held that Justice Abdul-Kafarati ought not to have entertained the application by the Ogun PDP when he did.
Justice Tor noted that there were two appeals pending before the appellate court when the trial court gave its judgment.
The court held that the lower court was wrong to have given a declaratory judgement against a person that is not a party in the suit that led to such judgment.
Invoking Section 15 of the Court of Appeal Act, the court held that the lower court infringed on Oyinlola’s fundamental human right to fair hearing.
The appellate court awarded N50,000 cost against the respondents. In his appeal, prayed the court for, among others, a declaration that he was validly elected as the PDP national secretary at the national convention of the party in Abuja on March 24, 2012.
He urged the court to set aside the January 11, ruling of Justice Abdul Kafarati of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which nullified his election on account of a declaration that Oyinlola emerged as the candidate of the Southwest PDP at its zonal convention of March 21, 2012.
Oyinlola further prayed the court for a declaration that the decision of the Federal High Court is not justiceable.
He alleged that the Federal High Court over-stepped its bounds by making some declarations which run contrary to the Constitution of the PDP.
Reacting to the judgment, counsel to the respondents, Ajibola Oluyede, said it would be challenged at the Supreme Court.
He added that the judgment was totally at variance with the evidence before the court.
Oluyede said what the Appeal Court gave judgment on was not before it and it is not right in law for a court to enter judgment on an issue that is not before it.
The National Secretary of the PDP, Prof Wale Oladipo, has vowed never to vacate his seat for Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
Reacting to the judgment that reinstated Oyinlola, Oladipo said he would remain in office pending when the Supreme Court takes a final decision on the matter.
According to him, the appellants from Ogun State were already appealing the judgment.
“The depondents from Ogun State who took him (Oyinlola) to court in the first place, I believe, are now in the process of going to the Supreme Court which is the final court. They are exercising their rights to appeal.
“As to my position, nothing has changed. I remain the National Secretary of the party. The Supreme Court will have the final say. No cause for alarm”, Oladipo insisted.
Also reacting to the development, PDP’s National Legal Adviser, Mr. Victor Kwom, said the party had not been served a copy of the judgment.
He said the party would reply appropriately as soon as it received a copy.