Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Tukur, Oyinlola Take Feud to INEC
•Saraki: This is a missed golden opportunity at reconciliation
Chuks Okocha and
Despite his suspension by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) the
former Osun State Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, has written to the
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) asking the commission
to reflect his name as the authentic national secretary of the PDP.
Others suspended alongside Oyinlola on Monday were the former acting
National Chairman of the PDP, Abubakar Baraje; former Deputy National
Chairman, Sam Sam Jaja; and Ibrahim Kazaure.
In arriving at the decision, the party's National Working Committee
(NWC) had accused them of identity theft, breach of the party's
constitution, anti-party activities, and engaging in actions that had
caused and brought disrepute to PDP.
However, in a letter written on November 11, 2013 by Oyinlola to the
Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega and copied to the INEC Director
of Legal Affairs, he said that he was writing the commission to
intimate it of the directive of the Court of Appeal and for the
commission to reflect it in its register.
In the letter, he said that he was writing the commission to intimate
it of the directive of the Court of Appeal and for the commission to
reflect it in its register.
Oyinlola wrote: "As you may be aware, the Court of Appeal, Abuja
Judicial Division has nullified the January 11, 2013 judgment of the
Federal High Court, Abuja, which removed me from office as the
national secretary of the PDP.
"The directive of the court was implemented by INEC, which
consequently struck out my name off its register and other documents,
as the national secretary of the PDP.
"Following the nullification of the above stated judgment of the
Federal High Court, Abuja, presided over by Justice Abdul Kafarati by
the Court of Appeal, Abuja, which is a superior court of competent
jurisdiction, and ruled that I was wrongfully removed from office as
the PDP national secretary, this correspondence serves to inform you
of my decision to continue to perform my duties as the validly elected
national secretary of the PDP.
"Your records would reveal that I was validly elected into office as
national secretary at the national convention of PDP held on Saturday
March 24, 2012.
"You are requested to kindly note this development and reflect it
accordingly in your records, in accordance with the judgment delivered
on Wednesday November 6, 2013.
"A copy of the judgment is attached for your attention and necessary
action, please. Kindly note that in compliance with the constitution
of the PDP, I am expected to sign all official correspondences
emanating from the PDP national secretariat to the Independent
National Electoral commission, in my capacity as the national
secretary of the PDP."
Similarly, Oyinlola wrote a letter on November 11 to the National
Legal Adviser of PDP, Victor Kwon, stating: "As you are very well
aware, the Court of Appeal by its judgment delivered on Wednesday
November 6, 2013 reinstated me as the national secretary of the party.
"This followed the nullification of the judgment of the Federal High
Court, Abuja, presided over by Justice Abdul Kafarati by the Court of
Appeal, Abuja, which is a superior court of competent jurisdiction
which also ruled that I was wrongfully removed from office as PDP
"You are requested to kindly note this development for immediate
compliance by the PDP and all its organs, particularly the national
chairman and members of the National Working Committee of our great
"Kindly note that in compliance with the constitution of the PDP, I am
expected to sign all official correspondences emanating from the PDP
national secretariat as the Chief Administrative and Accounting
Officer of the PDP.
"Please take this as an instruction to do all the needful for
compliance with the Appeal Court order which is attached herewith,
Despite the correspondence to INEC and the PDP, as at press time,
Oyinlola yesterday failed to show up at the national secretariat of
the party as he had promised.
The party also went ahead Tuesday to notify INEC of his suspension
alongside Baraje, Jaja and Kazaure.
The PDP NWC, in a letter dated November 12, which was signed by Tukur,
informed INEC of the suspension of its members on Monday, November 11,
for engaging in anti-party activities in violation of the provisions
of the PDP constitution.
In a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisa
Metuh, the party said the decision of the NWC was in exercise of its
powers under Section 57(3) of the PDP constitution and in the overall
interest of the party and its members.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that Oyinlola had written to the INEC on
September 1 and 23, 2013, notifying it of a change of leadership in
the PDP and requested for formal recognition, adding that he had left
the mainstream party for the splinter PDP.
A chieftain of the PDP in the Southwest, Buruji Kashamu, in an
advertisement published in THISDAY Tuesday, unearthed Oyinlola's first
two letters to INEC in September and adduced reasons why the former
Osun State governor should not be reinstated as the national secretary
of the party.
According to Kashamu, "In Oyinlola's letters to the Independent
National Electoral Commission (INEC), dated 1st and 23rd September,
2013, he specifically told the electoral body that he had left the
Alhaji Bamanga Tukur-led NWC for the Kawu-Baraje-led New PDP as its
"I reckon that there is freedom of Association as enshrined in Section
40 of the 1999 Constitution and do not begrudge him and co-travellers.
However, I wish to serve notice that I and other like minds would
resist any attempt to return him through the back door and impose him
Kashamu, who in the advert reproduced the September 1 letter written
by Oyinlola titled, "Notification of Changes in the Leadership of the
PDP and Request for Formal Recognition", argued that besides filing
the motion for stay of execution of the judgment of the Court of
Appeal setting aside the earlier judgment if the lower court which
sacked Oyinlola and notice of appeal at the Supreme Court, the
judgment had been overtaken by events.
In the September 1 letter, Oyinlola informed INEC that their decision
to form a splinter PDP was borne out of patriotic consideration,
particularly on the need to rescue PDP from total disintegration and
possible self destruction that was imminent.
Oyinlola also complained of acts of impunity against the PDP under
Tukur, asking INEC to recognise the following officials of the faction
as authentic members of the NWC of the PDP: Alhaji Abubakar Baraje
(national chairman) Dr. Sam Sam Jaja (deputy national chairman), and
Olagunsoye Oyinlola (national secretary), among others.
But INEC in its reply dated October 3, 2013, signed by U.F. Usman as
the acting Secretary declined to convey recognition to Oyinlola and
the New PDP.
It reminded Oyinlola that the commission had monitored the national
convention and special national convention of the PDP on March 24,
2012 and August 31, 2013, respectively.
"A National Working Committee was elected at the two conventions with
Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as the National Chairman. The commission will not
withdraw recognition from the leadership of the PDP elected at
elections monitored by the commission," INEC stated in its reply to
In view of this, Kashamu said that he and the other like minds in the
PDP would resist the reinstatement of Oyinlola as the national
Reacting to the suspension, Baraje yesterday appealed to Nigerians to
remain calm and steadfast, following his suspension from the party.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Baraje made the plea in
a statement he signed in IIorin, the Kwara State capital, while
reacting to his suspension and three other members by the party.
He said there was no cause for alarm over his suspension from the
party, adding that he and other suspended members would soon announce
their next line of action.
Also, former Kwara State Governor, Senator Bukola Saraki, who is also
a key member of the splinter PDP, reacted yesterday to the suspension
of some key members of the party, saying the suspension has thrown a
clog in the current efforts at reconciliation.
In addition, Saraki, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on
Environment and Ecology, said the suspension has further strengthened
and united the resolve of the G7 governors to continue with their
quest of bringing sanity to the PDP.
He said only a review of the suspension would pave the way for any
genuine reconciliatory efforts, as the suspension, which was done to
stop Oyinola from resuming as the secretary of the party, has not
reflected well on the integrity of PDP and the attempts at
Saying PDP missed a golden opportunity by not accepting Oyinola back,
Saraki noted that "some of us thought it was a golden opportunity to
begin to try and reconcile the party, but this will not help because
how do you, on one hand, suspend key members of the faction and then
still expect the governors that are sympathetic to them to attend a
meeting on reconciliation? The two cannot go together and I don't
think it is helping the party."
He said it was very sad "because some of us have been working to see
how we can bring peace to the party. Other efforts behind the scenes
are on and this will just set things back.
"This action started since the PDP special convention last August, but
it is just clear now that it was to stop him, otherwise, why was the
suspension not done since."