- Modu Sheriff, Prof Oladipo disagree
Palpable confusion has enveloped the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, following a federal High Court order that purportedly stopped the conduct of the party’s South West zonal congress in Akure today.
While the party’s national chairman and members of the congress committee said the congress will hold as scheduled because they are not aware of any court injunction stopping the exercise, the PDP national secretary, Prof Wale Oladipo confirmed the party has been served the court in junction.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja yesterday, Prof Oladipo, said that the South West re-elected Zonal Secretary of PDP, Chief Gbenga Otemolu had approached the court urging it to stop the congress, as the current executives in the zone were yet to complete their tenure.
He said that Otemolu went to court on behalf of his colleagues that they were elected in 2014 and that their four years tenure as specified in the party’s Constitution cannot end until 2018.
“We are in receipt of an order from the Federal High Court in Lagos which had ordered us to put a stop to the exercise pending when the case filed is heard and resolved.
“As a law abiding political party, we have been served this order.
“I, as the National Secretary of the party, and Alhaji Adewole Adeyanju, the National Auditor, who are the two representative of the zone, want to tell you that the party has decided to abide by the order,” Adeyanju said.
He said that in line with the decision, the party would recall to Abuja, the already dispatched committee sent to conduct the zonal congress.
“We apologize for any inconvenience we might have caused them.
However, in a telephone interview the PDP national chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff denied receiving any court order and confirmed that the party is going ahead with the South West congress.
His words: “I have not received any court order. I am in Taraba preparing for my congress
“As at the time I left the office yesterday (Thursday), I did not receive a court order. If I receive a court order, I will not conduct the congress.
“I have not seen the national secretary. He was meant to be in Osun. I have not received any court order.
“I have given directives before I left that there should be a congress. I will only stop when court gives me order to stop. The national secretary, I have not seen him, I have not spoken to him. I am in Taraba right now trying to do my congress.
“On whether the congress will definitely hold, he said: yes. I am a law abiding citizen. I don’t have a court order. Therefore, the congress will go on,” he said.
Also reacting to the development, the secretary of the South West zonal congress organizing committee, Mr. Iko told newsmen in Abuja shortly before he went to the airport to catch a flight to Akure, that the committee is not aware of any injunction and will be going ahead with the zonal congress.
He declared that the national leadership of PDP has not informed the committee of the existence of any court injunction stopping the exercise.
According to him,”It is not to the knowledge of my very good self, it is not to the knowledge of the national chairman and I can tell you, we have not seen any Court injunction to that effect. The congresses are going on as planned.
“I am rushing to the Airport to catch my flight to Akure. All the six states of the southwest are ready. The PDP faithfuls are also ready for this election.
“I want to use this opportunity to advise that those few people carrying this rumour should join hand to build PDP as Nigerians are waiting for the PDP,” Iko stated.