A major crisis is currently brewing in the Ogun State PDP over who the authentic candidate for next year’s governorship election is.
While Peoples Democratic Party’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, says their candidate is Ladi Adebutu, Buruji Kashamu’s media aide, Austin Oniyokor, is disputing that.
Buruji, a controversial businessman and politician is currently one of the senators representing Ogun State in the upper chamber while Ladi, son of Chief Adebutu Kessington, owner of the popular Baba Ijebu bet company, also represents Ogun State in the lower chamber.
Below, and unedited, are statements issued by both camps. Both statements are dated December 5, 2018:
2019: Ladi Adebutu Is PDP Governorship Candidate in Ogun State
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) clarifies that Ladi Adebutu is its candidate for the forthcoming governorship election in Ogun state.
This declaration puts to rest all controversies, uncertainties and misgivings regarding the authentic governorship candidate of the PDP in Ogun state.
Ladi Adebutu was duly elected as the PDP candidate in the primary conducted by the National Working Committee (NWC), the only body empowered to conduct such primaries, and his name and particulars have since been duly submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by the leadership of the party.
All PDP members, supporters and the general public should, by this declaration, completely disregard, as an impostor, any other person parading himself as the PDP governorship candidate in Ogun state, as only Ladi Adebutu is our flag bearer and Governorship candidate in Ogun State.
The PDP candidate, Ladi Adebutu, has already commenced his campaigns and is widely accepted by the people of Ogun state, who have expressed their readiness to freely give him the mantle of leadership at the 2019 election.
The PDP therefore cautions all fifth columnists trying to cause confusion within its fold in Ogun state, particularly those already identified as working for the APC, to desist from such acts in the general interest.
National Publicity Secretary
RE: OGUN PDP GOVERNORSHIP CANDIDATE
Our attention has been drawn to a press statement purportedly issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Kola Ologbodiyan claiming that one Ladi Adebutu is the governorship candidate of the Party in Ogun State.
We doubt if Mr. Ologbodiyan truly issued the statement because it smacks of ignorance of the extant provisions of our Party’s Constitution. It is also in utter disregard of court judgments on the matter. It is clearly contemptuous and in clear violation of valid and subsisting court pronouncements. We are shocked that with both the Courts and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) upholding the rights of the Engr. Adebayo Dayo-led Exco as validly constituted, Mr. Kola Ologbodiyan, purportedly speaking on behalf of the National Working Committee (NWC), could seek to overrule both the Courts and INEC.
Whilst we hold the National Working Committee (NWC) in high esteem, we make bold to state that contrary to Ologbodiyan’s claim that it is “only the NWC that is empowered to conduct primaries…”, Section 25 (1) of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017) states, “There shall be a State Party Congress which shall consist of: (a) The State Chairman who shall be the Chairman.
“Section 25 (2c) states further, ‘The functions of the State Congress shall be to: (c) Elect governorship candidates of the Party’.” So, we do not know where Ologbodiyan got his assertion from.
In fact, the purported congress that Ologbodiyan is referring to was held in violation of subsisting court judgment and the Constitution of our Party.
Besides, when the national leadership of our party failed to resolve the issues between the two contending groups in Ogun State, the Federal High Court in a judgment delivered in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/636/2016 on the 24th of June, 2016 – two and a half years ago – affirmed that the Engr. Adebayo Dayo-led State Executive of the PDP was validly elected. It was the same Dayo who presided over the State Congress that produced Otunba Adeleke Shittu who later withdrew from the race for Senator Buruji Kashamu as the governorship candidate of the PDP in Ogun State.
An appeal was filed against the judgment but it was dismissed by the Lagos Judicial Division of the Court of Appeal on the 4th May, 2017. A further application to have the dismissed appeal relisted was struck out on the 11th of July, 2018 and a cost of N200, 000 was awarded against the applicants.
Just today (Wednesday), a five-man panel of the Supreme Court refused to stay the execution of the judgment in favour of the Senator Buruji Kashamu-backed Ogun State PDP Exco, as requested by counsel to the appellant, Mr. Emeka Etiaba (SAN).
The five-man panel of the Supreme Court, which was chaired by the Honourable Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, pointedly told the appellant that the Supreme Court cannot stay the judgment of a High Court but that of the Court of Appeal.
Etiaba had prayed the apex court in a motion on notice he filed to stay the execution of the trial court judgment delivered by Justice Ibrahim Buba or in the alternative grant accelerated hearing of the appeal because of what he described as the adverse effect on the progress of PDP in Ogun State.
He contended that the judgment of the Federal High Court is liable to be stayed because, according to him, the judgment of the Supreme Court delivered in the matter of PDP and Senator Ali Modu Sheriff had put to rest the leadership tussle in the party.
Etiaba also pleaded for accelerated hearing of the appeal and the abridgment of time for the parties to file all their processes.
However, in a unanimous decision, the five-man panel of the Supreme Court held that the apex court has no jurisdiction to grant the request of the appellant until the Court of Appeal has made a pronouncement on it.
This prompted Etiaba to withdraw the motions seeking to stay the judgment of the Federal High Court and accelerated hearing of the appeal. They were consequently struck out by the Court with a cost of 100, 000 to the three parties involved in the matter.
Justice Rhodes-Vivour, while striking out the motion, held that it is incompetent and cannot be granted by the apex court.
Clearly, the candidature of Senator Buruji Kashamu having emerged from the only legally recognized structure of the Party in Ogun State is on a sure footing; and no one, no matter how powerful, can be stronger than God and the judiciary.
We hope that our dear Party will use this occasion to prove to the whole world that it has turned a new leaf where the Rule of Law prevails.
Media Adviser to Senator Buruji Kashamu
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