The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has insisted that Hon. Ladi Adebutu remains its Ogun state gubernatorial candidate and urged general public, security agencies, all electoral organs, observers and particularly, its teeming supporters to take note.
Sometimes in December, a Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan had sacked Buruji Kashamu as the Ogun State governorship candidate of the PDP. The three-man appeal panel led by Justice Haruna Tsammani unanimously agreed that the lower court was wrong in its decision and consequently set aside the order, saying it was null and void.
He ruled that, “Non-service of the originating summons on the applicants at the lower court rendered all the order given at the lower court against the applicants a nullity and this is an indication that the applicants were not given a fair hearing. In the interest of justice, the order of the lower court is set aside, null and void and an academic exercise,’’
Tsammani ordered that the case be returned to the Chief Judge for reassignment to another judge other than Justice Abubakar.
He therefore ordered that the case be returned to the Chief Judge for reassignment to another judge other than Justice Abubakar.
However, a Federal Capital Territory high court had last month dismissed the suit filed by Adebutu to challenge the nomination of Kashamu as the governorship candidate of in Ogun state.
In the suit, Adebutu asked the court to declare him the authentic candidate of the party for the March 2 governorship election.
But while delivering judgement, Ajoke Adepoju, the presiding judge, said the case filed by Adebutu cannot be maintained to declare him the governorship candidate of the PDP.
Adepoju said although Adebutu was nominated by the national working committee (NWC) of the party, the primary election where he emerged as candidate was conducted in violation of a subsisting court judgment.
The judge held that the PDP national working committee acted in bad faith by flouting a subsisting judgment of a federal high court delivered by Ibrahim Buba.
Meanwhile, PDP National publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan while briefing journalists in Abuja on Thursday, cautioned that, “the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to insulate the commission from unnecessary controversies by immediately obeying the judgment of the Court of Appeal of December 18, 2018, and without further delay reflect Hon. Ladi Adebutu’s name on the ballot, in the interest of a hitch free and peaceful election in Ogun state.
Ologbondiyan claimed that, “Hon. Ladi Adebutu’s name was duly and statutorily submitted to INEC after he won the governorship primary conducted by the National Working Committee (NWC), the only body empowered by law to conduct such primaries. The PDP has not substituted his nomination with anybody and such is not in our contemplation.
He charged the INEC Chairman “to note that since the ruling of the Court of Appeal validating Hon. Ladi Adebutu as the PDP governorship candidate in Ogun state, no other court, not even the Supreme Court has over turned that extant ruling.
Ologbondiyan said “INEC is therefore compelled to obey the law. It cannot choose for itself which judgment to obey and cannot operate in waiting, anticipation or contemplation of a non-existent consideration in the conduct of the Ogun governorship election.
“In this regard, the PDP urges all Nigerians, particularly the people of Ogun state, to completely disregard certain individuals, including Senator Kashamu Buruji, who has been making misleading comments and trying to create an impression that the Supreme Court has made a pronouncement on the issue.
“Moreover, the PDP holds that Senator Buruji cannot under any imagination be the governorship candidate of the PDP in Ogun state. He is not a member of our party; he did not participate in our Ogun state governorship primary and has no connection whatsoever in our governorship nomination process at any level for that matter.
“INEC cannot go to the streets to pick a candidate for our party. It must therefore, in compliance with the extant judgment of the Court of Appeal, immediately reflect Ladi Adebutu’s name in the ballot, otherwise Nigerians will have no other option than to conclude that Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has become compromised to cause confusion and anarchy in Ogun state.
“The PDP therefore cautions certain manipulators in INEC as well as fifth columnists, who are being funded by anti-democratic forces to destabilize our party in Ogun and cause trouble in the state, to desist from such acts as they will be firmly resisted by the people”