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Why PDP NWC must be sacked - Group

By Comrade Chima Ubeku
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An Abuja based group, Society for Rule of Law in Nigeria (SRLN) has called for the dissolution of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) National Working Committee (NWC), saying; the NWC ceased to exist consequent upon the court order granted on April 27, 2012 by Justice O. E. Abang in Suit Number FHC/L/CS/282/2012 between Chief Dapo Soremi and others, and the PDP and five others.

However the Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos presided over by Justice H M Ogunwumiju had granted a stay of execution of the same order pending the Appeal filed by the Segun Oni led PDP zonal executive sinceMay 25 2012. The Bamanga Tukur NWC and Oyinlola ,the National Secretary had also benefited from the stay as it avoided the contempt charge slammed on it by the High court using the same Court of Appeal ruling.

In the ruling the Appeal court held that "We are firmly convinced that the balance of justice lies in the stay being granted.The res in this case cannot be destroyed by either party but the liberty of any of the applicants if taken by contempt proceedings cannot be easily restored.An order of stay of execution or further execution of the judgement and orders of Hon Justice CE Archibong of the Federal High court Lagos in suit NO FHC/L/CS/1248/2011 delivered on 27/1/11 is hereby made.All contempt proceedings shall stay to abide the outcome of the Appeal in the said suit.Order as prayed.""

The group, which however commended the PDP for its decision to adhere to the rule of law, noted that; "Having effected a part of the Justice Abang order by dissolving the South-West Zonal Working Committee in line with the order, the party must also dissolve the NWC as ordered by the court.By ignoring the Appellate court and obeying the ruling of a High Court,the NWC of the PDP had shot itself in the leg"

In a statement issued today by its National Coordinator, Comrade Chima Ubeku, SRLN said; "as a group that is concerned with the sustenance of rule of law in the country, we felt obliged to comment on the decision taken by the PDP yesterday, most especially because of its effect on party politics in the country.

"First and foremost, we are happy that PDP has chosen to follow the path of rule of law and constitutionality.

"We are however worried that the party waited for close to one year that Justice Abang gave the order and after the ruling had been appealed against and stay of execution granted before giving effect to the ruling.

"Most importantly, the order granted by Justice O. E. Abang in the suit Number FHC/L/CS/282/2012 was; That the South West Zonal Congress of the Peoples' Democratic Party held in Osogbo Osun State on 21st March 2012 involving the election of delegates to the National Convention of the party is hereby set aside and accordingly nulified.

"The election of officers at the National Convention of the 1st Respondent (PDP) involving only those that emerged as purported elected delegates from South West Zonal Congress of the 1st Respondent (PDP) is hereby set aside and accordingly nullified.

"The implication of the above is that the participation of 'delegates' elected at the Zonal Congress in Oshogbo in the National Convention held on March 24, 2012 rendered the Convention invalid, thereby nulifying the election of all members of the NWC.

"It is therefore our demand that the PDP NWC should be dissolved in accordance with the court order in suit number FHC/L/CS/282/2012 the same way the South-West Zonal Working Committee was dissolved based on the order.

"Failure to do this within 14 days will mean that the party only chooses which part of court judgments to obey and we will have no other option than to approach the court for the order to be enforced.

,it is against the tenet of the rule of law to chose and pick which court order to be obeyed,hence the entire National Working Committee stand dissolved by the same order .Since Alhaji Bamanga Tukur emerged from the same convention which produced Oyinlola, the National auditor and other NWC members, then it would be Honourable for all NWC members to resign and another Convention of the PDP held to chose all national officers of the party"

"The alternative and the right thing is for the PDP to uphold the sanctity of judicial hierarchy and rescind its decision to sack the South West zonal executive as it seems that the NWC was beclouded by the hurriedness to mow down Obasanjo and the Governors rather than obey the rule of Law" the group said.

Comrade Chima Ubeku
National Coordinator