Osun PDP crisis: Adagunodo group out to destabilise our party – Counsels to Sunday Bisi group

 

Following the announcement of a new acting Chairman by a faction of the Osun State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party by that group loyal to former Chairman, Hon Soji Adagunodo, counsels to the Hon Sunday Bisi-led faction have reacted to the development.

The reaction was contained in a statement on Friday by Hashim Abioye, the secretary of the legal team led by Niyi Owolade, former Attorney General of Osun State.

 

Giving the background to the crisis in the party, the statement reads,  “The erstwhile Osun PDP Chairman was removed from office by a resolution of the NWC of the Party based on the recommendation of the Disciplinary Committee set up to discipline him with respect to the allegations of malfeasance, anti-party activities and financial impropriety levelled against him by some members of the Party in respect of which allegations an investigative panel was set up by the NWC which investigative panel earlier recommended his suspension from office as Osun State Chairman of PDP.

“Following his suspension from office, Hon. Sunday Akanfe Atidade was appointed as the State Chairman in acting capacity, and when the resolution for his (Adagunodo’s) outright removal was passed by the SEC and ratified by the NWC, Hon. Sunday Bisi, being an official of the Party from the area/zone where Hon. Adagunodo comes from (that is Osun East Senatorial District) was brought in as a replacement for Hon. Adagunodo in line with Article 49(6) of the PDP’s Constitution 2017 as amended. In other words, Hon. Sunday Bisi became the substantive Chairman of the Party in Osun State.

“It was after the confirmation of Hon. Sunday Bisi as the substantive State Chairman of the Party that Hon. Adagunodo approached the High Court of Osun State, Ikirun Division in HIK/25/2020 praying for some declaratory and injunctive reliefs the ultimate of which is his re-instatement to the postion of the State Chairman of the Party in Osun. By a mandatory order of interim injunction made ex-parte on 3rd November, 2020, the honourable court re-instated Hon. Adagunodo as the State Chairman of the Party and removed Hon. Sunday Bisi. On 9th November, 2020, the court converted the said interim order to a preservative order pending the determination of the matter before the court.

“The PDP, Hon. Sunday Bisi, Hon. Atidade and Hon. Bola Ajao who were joined as the defendants in the suit promptly appealed the said decision to the Court of Appeal sitting in Akure. By a unanimous decision of the Court of Appeal delivered on 5th March, 2021 in CA/AK/349/2020, the decision of the High Court of Osun State re-instating Adagunodo as the Osun PDP Chairman was set aside and the ex-parte interim order as well as the preservative order premised thereon were vacated by the Court of Appeal.

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“Hon. Adagunodo thereafter appealed the said decision to the Supreme Court by filing a 14-ground notice of appeal. It is important to note that the said appeal has been entered at the Supreme Court as SC/CV/305/2021, and parties have filed their respective briefs of arguments before the apex court in respect of the said appeal. It is equally important to emphasize that grounds 7 to 14 of the notice of appeal filed at the Supreme Court by Hon. Soji Adagunodo attacked the decision of the Court of Appeal setting aside not only the ex-parte interim order but also the preservative order which crystalized from the said interim order.

‘While the appeal before the apex court was (and is) still pending, the substantive matter filed by Adagunodo in HIK/25/2020 proceeded before the High Court of Osun State, this time around by another judge. The Defendants in the said suit filed by Adagunodo thereafter filed an application for conversion of the originating summons in the suit to writ of summons given the hostile and hotly disputed facts in the proceedings.

“His lordship heard argument on the said application and thereafter proceeded to hearing the preliminary objection and the substantive suit (without delivering a ruling on the application for conversion). This prompted another appeal by the PDP and other defendants in the suit (inclusive of Hon. Sunday Bisi) to the Court of Appeal which is now pending before the Court of Appeal in CA/AK/94/2021, and based on the fact of the pendency of the appeal, the defendants in the suit filed an application for stay of proceedings which His lordship graciously granted, therefore adjourning the entire proceedings in HIK/25/2020 sine die pending the determination of the appeal.

It was after the grant of order of stay that Hon. Wale Ojo and some others approached the Osun State High Court sitting in Ife to nullify the validly conducted and concluded ward/national delegates Congresses conducted by the Party in Osun State. The said suit was attacked by a notice of preliminary objection and same has now been withdrawn by Hon. Wale through that same counsel of theirs who is also the counsel representimg Hon. Adagunodo.

Not done yet, Adagunodo through that same counsel surreptitiously instituted another suit against the PDP and INEC at the Osun State High Court sitting in Ile-Ife in a clandestine manner in HIF/36/2021 in which he sought for some Declarations principal among which is that he should be recognized and all his actions be validated as the Osun PDP Chairman based on the preservative order of mandatory injunction granted by Hon. Justice S.O Falola in HIK/25/2021 pending the determination of the notice of preliminary objection, motion on notice and originating summons in HIK/25/2020. Judgment in the said suit was delivered on 22nd November, 2021.

It is to be declared at this point that the judgement in the said HIF/36/2021 only came to fore and public knowledge today the 24th December, 2021 when a “Group” within the Party brandished same as giving them the authority to hold a “stakeholders’ meeting” at an unrecognised venue. It has been a hide and seek game of the so-called Adagunodo Group all along.

ISSUES AT STAKE

At an emergency meeting of the Legal Committee of Osun PDP, held today the 24th December, 2021, a copy of the said judgment was made available and same was thouroughly digested. From the preliminary overview of the content of the said judgment of Hon. Justice Aderibigbe sitting at Ile-Ife, it was deduced as follows:

1. The said judgment was a judgment given in default of appearance of the defendants or their legal representatives (though, by the content of the said judgments the defendants were duly served.)
2. The reliefs in the said judgment were wholly based on a preservative order of injunction made in HIK/25/2020.
3. The said preservative order had been set aside/vacated by the Court of Appeal before filing HIF/36/21 and the setting aside forms part of the grounds of appeal filed by Adagunodo now pending before the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

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4. Proceedings in HIK/25/2021 had been stayed effectively by a court of competent and co-ordinate jurisdiction before filing HIF/36/21, as such the whole of HIK/25/2021 or any part thereof cannot serve as a litigating point in any subsequent suit until the said suit is finally determined especially when there is a pending appeal in respect of same.

5. Nothing in HIF/36/2021 removed Hon. Sunday Bisi as the Osun PDP Chairman because he was not a party to that suit.
6. Nothing in the said HIF/36/2021 also pronounced Hon. Wale Ojo as the Chairman of Osun PDP in any capacity because he too was not a party to the said suit.
7. By virtue of Article 49(6) of the Constitution of PDP 2017 as amended, where there is a vacancy in any executive position of the party at any level, it is the appropriate executive committee of the party that has the duty to fill the vacancy from area/zone where the vacancy occurs.
8. That as it is today, there is no vacancy in Osun PDP Chairmanship as Hon. Sunday Bisi is the official and legitimate Chairman of the Party in Osun State.

9. That appropriate steps be taken to appeal and apply for stay of execution of the judgement in HIF/36/2021, eventhough there is nothing to execute as the beneficiary of that judgment is now the Southwest Chairman of the PDP in Nigeria, and the Osun State Executive Committee of the Party have not at anytime sat to declare any vacancy or pass any resolutions to that effect.

I’m it’s conclusion, the legal team described the Adagunodo’s group as a “dissident group” aimed at destabilizing the party ahead of the next year governorship elections.

“It is the observation of the Legal Committee that the so-called dissident “Group” are hell-bent on destabilising the Party so as to waste away the efforts of the Party to stabilise and re-position the Party for victory at the polls come 2022 and beyond. Their target is to undo the validly conducted and concluded Ward/National Delegates Congresses successfully held across Osun State which has now been duly ratified at the National Convention of the Party which ushered in the present NWC/NEC of the Party.

“The Legal Committee of Osun PDP hereby appeals for calm among loyalists and members of the Party in Osun. The Committee also assures all executive members of the Party at Ward, Local and State Levels across Osun State that there is no cause for alarm and that all activities of the Party at the said levels be carried on without hesitation and without any fear of molestation or harassment from any quarters.

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About Jare Tiamiyu

A political and sport analyst, public speaker, writer, printer and online personnel. A development advocate with greater interest in SDGs goal 4 and 16.
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