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OGUN PDP: OBJ, OGD'S CANDIDATES KNOW FATE TODAY

By NBF News
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Today is judgment day in the titanic legal battle involving the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) camps of former president Olusegun Obasanjo and the incumbent Governor, Gbenga Daniel, over the control of the party in Ogun State.

Justice Abdul Kafarati of a Federal High Court had said on Tuesday he would deliver his judgment today in the protracted crisis, rocking the state chapter of the Peoples PDP after Obasanjo's faction had asked him to reject the Governor Daniel-led faction of the party.

Justice Kafarati fixed the date after the hearing of the originating summons and the preliminary objection to the substantive suit filed by the gubernatorial candidate, Chief Adetunji Olurin, his running mate, Tunde Oladunjoye, and three others.

Others were Babatunde Fadun, Dave Salako and Seun Adesanya.

The defendants were PDP, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Mr. Joju Fadairo.

Counsel to PDP, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) told the court that the Joju Fadairo-led executive was the authentic one saddled with the responsibility of conducting primary elections. He backed his argument with a judgment of an Ogun State High Court.

However, the plaintiffs' counsel, Mr. Olagoke Fakunle, urged the court to discountenance the submissions.

He argued that the PDP could not deal with an executive council they had dissolved. 'As far as this case is concerned, PDP has taken those steps and could not in the circumstances deal with an executive they had dissolved. The documents emanating from the PDP, which they have not denied, are ample proof of the steps they have taken to dissolve Joju Fadairo's group and harmonise the executive in Ogun State.'

Referring to a Federal High Court, Lagos, judgment, Fakunle submitted that the Joju Fadairo's group had been forbidden 'from conducting any primaries.'

He added that the court also barred PDP and INEC from according any recognition to the group.

'The primaries, which were conducted by the Joju Fadairo group or in collaboration with it by the PDP, must be set aside and nullified because they were conducted in disobedience of the order.'

Fakunle urged the court to hold that Olurin was the validly nominated gubernatorial candidate being a product of the harmonised executive, which was given effect to by a Court.

At the last sitting, the court struck out an application by Daniel's faction of the PDP, seeking to vacate an interlocutory order against it. Justice Kafarati struck out the application, following its withdrawal by the defence counsel, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN). The Court had on January 26, 2011, restrained the INEC and the PDP from accepting the list of candidates sent by the dissolved Ogun State executive committee led by Chief Fadairo.

This followed an application argued by the Plaintiffs counsel, Mr. Fakunle (SAN), which was supported by a 53-paragraph affidavit sworn to by Wale Solaja. The Plaintiffs are Chief Adetunji Olurin, Babatunde Fadun, Tunde Oladunjoye, Dave Salako and Seun Adesanya. The candidates affected by the restraining order were the factional leader, Ogun State Governor Gbenga Daniel; the faction gubernatorial candidate, Mr. Gboyega Isiaka, and Mrs. Lola Abiola-Edewor, daughter of the late acclaimed winner of the June 12 presidential election, Chief M.K.O Abiola.

They emerged from a parallel primary conducted by the faction, headed by Daniel. The court also fixed today for hearing in the substantive suit and the Preliminary objection to the substantive suit filed by the plaintiffs. Granting the interlocutory order, the court directed INEC and PDP to approve, accept, compile, announce and use only the list containing the Plaintiffs, who are loyalists of Obasanjo.