Justice Taofikat Oyekan-Abdullahi of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja has set aside the special congress held on 13th November, 2019 by the Lagos chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The judge also removed Dr. Adedeji Doherty as the state’s Chairman of the party and reinstated former Chairman, Dr. Dominic Adegbola.
The claimants in the suit are: Dr Adegbola Dominic, for state chairman of the party; Elder John Babatunde Agbaje, Alhaji Fatai Ajisefinni and Chief Taiwo Kuye, of the PDP’s Lagos State chapter.
They had urged the court to for order setting aside the election of officers for vacant offices in the party’s Lagos chapter.
The defendants in the proceedings, apart from Secondus, are: Senator Ben Obi, the PDP, Senator Biodun Olujimi, Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, Danladi Baidu Tijo, Ahmed M. Mukthar and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Justice Oyekan-Abdullahi in his judgment held that the positions sought to be filled at the special election were not vacant.
The judge also held that the argument that Dr. Dominic held the office of the State Chairman of PDP for 90 days has no place in the Constitution of PDP.
The Court further held that the 1st Claimant was duly appointed to serve out the term of his predecessor who resigned.
He maintained that the Claimant’s failure to utilize 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.
He held, “all the conditions precedent to conduct election into the party’s offices were not followed and 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 and no notice of the special congress was forwarded to INEC as required by the Electoral Act,” the court stated.
Justice Oyekan-Abdullahi also held that the Defendants’ act of conducting the special congress despite a subsisting order of the Court prohibiting same is contemptuous.
However, the Court stated that it would not hesitate to use its big stick of punishment against the Defendants if they again fail to obey the judgment herein.