Lagos court refuses to void PDP congress polls

Channels Television  
Updated March 20, 2012

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has refused to grant an application by some aggrieved members of the Lagos chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking an order voiding the congress held by the party in the Lagos on Saturday.

The aggrieved members of the party, led by Alhaji Imam Akorede, are before Justice Mohammed Liman and are challenging, among other things, the propriety of said congress despite an order of the court stopping it.

Through their counsel, Olumide Sofowora, the members today asked the court to sanction the defendants for conducting the congress despite Fridays order of the court directing that it be put on hold.

Joined as defendants in the suit are; Ambassador Musiliu Obanikoro, Chief (Mrs) Dupe Sasore, Chief Ayo Waddel, Dr. Lekan Sobowale, Prince Adegboyega Oyebola, Chief Lanre Osundairo, Engineer Tunji Amosu and Hon. Alhaji Wahab Wale Owokoniran.

They were all sued as members of the PDP transition, reconciliation and congress committee.

Other defendants are: Hon. Setonji Koshoedo(Chairman, Lagos PDP), Captain Tunji Shele(Secretary, Lagos PDP), Alhaji Abubakar Baraje (PDP National Chairman), Hon. Secondus (PDP National Organising Secretary), Prof. Attahiru Jega (INEC Chairman), Lagos State INEC Commissioner, Lagos State Commissioner of Police and the Director of State Security Services.

The aggrieved members specifically asked the court to restrain those elected on Saturday from acting in that capacity until the determination of the case.

While the lawyers to some of the defendants have acknowledged service of the court order and promptly stayed away from the polls, Rotimi Ogunjobi, lawyer to the former PDP Lagos Chairman and secretary, Setonji Koshoedo and Tunji Shelle, denied that his clients were served with the court’s order.

After listening to arguments from the lawyers, and the court’s baliff, charged with effecting service of the court order, Justice Liman declined the plaintiffs’ lawyer’s application to either void the result of the congress or restrain officials elected from it from parading themselves in that capacity.

The judge based his ruling on the fact that some of the defendants were not served with the court’s order and processes. The court then granted the plaintiffs’ application for substituted service, via newspaper publication, on the defendants yet to be served before adjourning to the 26th of March for report of service and possible hearing of the substantive suit.