A Lagos State High Court has removed Dr Adedeji Doherty as the Chairman of Lagos the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state and reinstated the party’s former Chairman, Dr Dominic Adegbola.
Justice Oyekan Abdullahi while delivering judgement in a suit filed by Adegbola held that the 1st claimant was duly appointed to serve out the term of his predecessor who resigned.
In the judgement, the court said it considered the preliminary objection filed by the 1st -6th defendants and dismissed them for lacking in merit.
“Consequently, the Court considered the merit of the case canvassed by all the parties. The Court held that the positions sought to be filled at the special election were not vacant. Also, the Court held that the argument that the 1st claimant, Dr Dominic held the office of the State Chairman of PDP for 90 days has no place in the Constitution of PDP,” the judge said.
The court stated that the claimant’s failure to utilise internal dispute mechanism is not accidental as the defendants frustrated same.
“The Court relied on the attempt made by the 1st claimant when he wrote a letter to the National Chairman of the party and the letter was rejected. This fact was not contradicted by the defendants,” Abdullahi added.
The court said further held that “all the conditions precedent to conduct election into the party’s offices were not followed and that the NWC of the party had no power to conduct state and local government congresses. Also, the special congress must fail as there was no guideline from the NEC of the party.
“No notice of the special congress was forwarded to INEC as required by the Electoral Act.
“The case of the claimants succeeds completely. The special congress held on November 13, 2019, was set aside and there were no vacancies in the first place.
“The defendants’ act of conducting the special congress despite a subsisting order of the Court prohibiting same is contemptuous,” the judge held.
Abdullahi added that the court would not hesitate to use the big stick of punishment against the defendants if they fail to obey the judgement herein.
Reacting to the judgement, the Chairman of PDP Elders Committee in Lagos State, Dr Bimbo Ogunkelu, said that the party will appeal the judement.
Ogunkelu,who is a former Minister of Cooperation and Integration in Africa, assured that the party would get a stay of execution of the lower court’s judgement at the Appeal Court.
“We don’t accept that judgement. how can a properly carried out congress be set aside by a court because some people are not happy
“It is a miscarriage of justice and we will go to the Appeal Court. We don’t understand how the judge came to that conclusion, that is why we will appeal,” he said.
Ogunkelu added that the elders committee of the party was solidly behind Doherty.
“I am the chairman of the elders committee and we don’t understand why the two groups were lumped together. However, what happened at the court does not stop the party from uniting and working together,” he added.
Meanwhile the South West zone of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has congratulated Adegbola over his reinstatement as the chairman of the party in Lagos State.
In a statement signed by the zonal General Secretary, Rahman Owokoniran, the party urged its members in Lagos State to be united and allow peace to reign.
“We celebrate the glory of the Lord in our life as the truth, finally reigns supreme in judgement.
“We pray that the rest of the cases left in the South West in particular and the nation, in general, shall vindicate us.
“Now that the court has spoken, let’s allow peace to reign so we can build the party in unity,” the statement said.
The party added that the victory was in line with the ongoing efforts by the Bukola Saraki led reconciliation committee to ensure the party was united ahead of the 2023 general elections.