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PDP fights Oyinlola's bid for reinstatement

By The Citizen
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People's Democratic Party on Tuesday opposed an application in which its sacked National Secretary, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, asked an Abuja Federal High Court to stay the execution of the order that removed him from office.

The Abuja FHC, presided over by Justice Abdul Kafarati, had on January 11, 2013, in its judgment on the substantive suit filed by the Ogun State Chapter of the PDP, held that Oyinlola was not fit to occupy the position of National Secretary of the party after a Lagos FHC cancelled the zonal congresses through which he emerged.

At the last hearing in the matter on January 16, 2013, PDP counsel, Chief Joe Gadzama, SAN, had asked the court for leave to withdraw an earlier application in which the party's legal adviser also asked for a stay of the order that removed Oyinlola.

When the matter came up again on Tuesday, Oyinlola, through his counsel, Chief Awa Kalu, SAN, argued that the court did not ask the PDP to enforce the judgment by removing him from office.

However, PDP maintained that it only complied with the court's decision by immediately removing Oyinlola as its national secretary.

Also, PDP held that the ex-governor's application for a stay of execution of the judgment was belated, as the order had already been executed before he filed the application.

Gadzama noted that Oyinlola himself had also complied with the judgment by not attending any meeting of the PDP since the court ordered his removal from office.

Earlier, Oyinlola's counsel, Kalu, had moved an application for a stay of the January 11, 2013 order, which sacked the former governor from office as the National Secretary of the PDP.Kalu said the application was brought pursuant to order 32, rules 1, 2 and 4 of the FHC.Asking the court to grant the application, and thereby restore Oyinlola to office, he said, 'The point we have made in our written address is that there is no argument as to whether or not declaratory reliefs can be stayed. The argument we have seen on the other side is that the order has already been executed.'Responding, counsel for the Ogun State chapter of the PDP, R. A. Oluyede, informed the court that he attached copies of The PUNCH and Nation newspapers of January 15, 2013, as exhibits to show that the January 11, 2013 judgment had already been executed before Oyinlola applied for its stay.

'We ask the court to dismiss the application with cost. It is not at all in controversy between the parties that the defendant (Oyinlola) is no longer the national secretary of the party today.

'He is not contesting the fact for the application to now seek to restrain something that had already happened.

'It is a fact that the applicant is a contemnor - there is an application pending before your Lordship to commit him to prison for criminal contempt.

Also responding to Oyinlola's application for stay of execution of the court judgment, Gadzama, informed the court that the party was opposing the motion.

'On our part, we have opposed the application,' he said.

Counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mr. Wilsom Iorshe, urged the court to use its discretion in deciding  the application.

The court adjourned the matter to March 21, 2013, to rule on the application for stay of execution of the January 11, 2013 judgment.