Again, PDP Asks Court to Commit Baraje, Oyinlola, Jaja to Prison.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has initiated contempt proceedings against a former Governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola for continuing to claim to be the National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
This came as an Ikeja High Court Wednesday fixed October 10, to deliver ruling on the preliminary objection filed by the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, challenging the court’s jurisdiction to entertain a suit filed by a faction of the party.
However, the proceeding was commend by the Ogun State chapter of the PDP led by its Chairman, Adebayo Dayo and Secretary, Semiu Sodipo before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The action is aimed at committing Oyinlola and others to prison for allegedly flouting a judgment of the court, sacking the ex-governor as PDP’s National Secretary.
Joined with Oyinlola as alleged contemnors are factional chairman of the party, Kawu Baraje and a former National Working Committee member, Sam Sam Jaja.
The applicants argued that Oyinlola’s continued claim to being National Secretary of the PDP (including the purported new PDP) and his authorship of letters and notices in that capacity, amounted to deliberate violations of the court’s orders in its judgments of April 27, 2012 and January 11 this year.
They accused Baraje and Jaja of conspiring and aiding Oyinlola to flout the court’s orders, voiding his claim to the national secretary seat of the party.
They also accused the alleged contemnors of acting to frustrate the outcome of Oyinlola’s appeal against the judgments by their actions.
The applicants are praying the court to commit Oyinlola, Baraje, Jaja to prison for one year or any period the court prefers as punishment for their action.
The Ogun State PDP has also applied to the court for an order compelling the party’s national body and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognise Professor Adewale Oladipo as its replacement for Oyinlola as the PDP’s National Secretary.
It also has prayed the court to accept the outcome of the extra-ordinary South-west zonal congress held in Ibadan, Oyo State on March 13 this year, where Prof Oladipo was elected to replace Oyinlola.
Named as defendants in this application are Oyinlola, PDP and INEC.
Justice Abdukadir Abdul-Kafarati deemed the defendants’ processes as adopted and adjourned to Friday for ruling.
The judge ordered the applicants to serve documents in relation to the contempt proceedings on the alleged contemnors, following which a date will be set for hearing.
Meanwhile, Justice Oludotun Adefope-Okojie fixed the date after hearing the arguments from the parties in the suit which was filed by the Alhaji Kawu Baraje’s faction of the PDP.
The Baraje breakaway faction had dragged the old PDP led by Tukur to court, asking it to stop the embattled chairman (Tukur) and other officers of the party from parading themselves as national officers of the party pending the determination of the case.
The plaintiffs in the suit are Baraje, Jaja, Oyinlola and the PDP.
Joined alongside Tukur as defendants are Mr. Uche Secondus, Deputy National Chairman; Dr. Kema Chikwe, Women Leader and Mr. Olisa Metuh, the National Publicity Secretary.
Tukur and his co-defendants had on September 18 asked the court to strike out the suit for want of jurisdiction.
They had also argued that the writs of summons did not comply with the mandatory requirements of Section 97 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act because they were not signed.
At yesterday’s proceedings, the claimants’ counsel, Mr. Robert Emukpaeruo, urged the court to dismiss the preliminary objection.
Emukpaeruo argued that the court had jurisdiction to entertain the matter, stressing that the judgment of the court can be enforced against the defendants.
According to him, as long as a court can enforce its orders, the court can exercise jurisdiction.
Emukpaeruo said the writ of summonses were endorsed for service outside Lagos State, stressing that the endorsements had brought the defendants within the jurisdiction of the court.
Responding, Tukur’s counsel, Dr. Amaechi Nwaiwu (SAN), argued that Emukpaeruo submissions on the issue of jurisdiction were misconceived.
“The issue of physical effectiveness is a post judgment matter. The main issue is the competence of your lordship to adjudicate on this matter,” Nwaiwu said.
He argued that the writs of summonses were not properly endorsed under the Sheriff and Civil Process Act.
Mr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), counsel for Secondus, Chikwe and Metuh, also adopted Nwaiwu’s submissions.
He urged the court to dismiss the suit, stressing that its jurisdiction was circumscribed by law.