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Hon. Adebutu Speaks On PDP Crisis, Disruption Of National Convention By ‘Unseen Hands’.

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Hon Adebutu

Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu, Member, House of Representatives, representing Ikenne/sagamu/remo north federal constituency has reacted to the ongoing crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Adebutu, who recently held a press conference blamed the crisis on what he termed ‘Judicial Politicking’, he also pointed accusing fingers at a PDP Senator who he claimed has hijacked the party structure in Ogun State.

In his words, he said “The Senator joined PDP in the year 2010 on the pretext of humanitarian assistance, through a foundation. He would routinely tell party members that he was not interested in contesting any elective position; not even the post of Councillorship, as (according to him), he had no paper qualification to contest election. Dissatisfied political actors and leaders in Ogun State PDP were coerced to embrace him and the rest is history.”

FULL TEXT OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE BELOW:

ON THE DISRUPTION OF THE PDP NATIONAL CONVENTION OF THE PDP ON 18/8/16 AND THE COMPLICITY OF UNSEEN “HANDS” OF THE THIRD COLUMNISTS

 

BEING TEXT OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE BY HON. OLADIPUPO ADEBUTU, MEMBER, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, IKENNE/SAGAMU/REMO NORTH FEDERAL CONSTIUENCY AND CHAIRMAN, HOUSE COMMITTEE ON RURAL DEVELOPMENT.

Gentlemen of the Press, distinguished ladies and gentlemen.

Our dear party, the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) has been going through difficult times since the loss of the 2015 general elections. Our findings reveal that this is due largely to factors within the Party on the one hand, as well as needless and desperate orchestration and manipulation of internal frictions within the PDP by the ruling party, and also the active connivance and complicity by certain overzealous Judges of the Federal High Court and some officious police officers.

 

  • Background:

The crisis in the national body of the PDP has a lot to do with the mismanagement of internal crisis in the Ogun State Chapter and needless introduction of “Judicial Politicking” to outsmart fellow party members in Ogun State by a self-styled politician, now a Senator from Ogun State. This process resulted in judicial bondage of the party.

The Senator joined PDP in the year 2010 on the pretext of humanitarian assistance, through a foundation. He would routinely tell party members that he was not interested in contesting any elective position; not even the post of Councillorship, as (according to him), he had no paper qualification to contest election. Dissatisfied political actors and leaders in Ogun State PDP were coerced to embrace him and the rest is history. The party broke into three or four political parties, namely: Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN), PDP, Labour Party and some defected to ACN and others. This disintegration gave the Senator the latitude to hijack the party (PDP) structure in the State by appointing his puppets into the Executive committee, thus making it impossible for true reconciliation even after dissatisfied members were prevailed upon to return to the party (PDP).

Subsequently, party nominations became highly ‘commercialized’ by the Senator, who routinely demanded and collected huge sums of money, running to hundreds of millions, from candidates while using criminal methods to change names of candidates at will long after deadline for nomination of candidates had expired. In some cases, the Senator arranged for signatures of some candidates to be forged for the purpose of making a case for “voluntary” withdrawal. Quite unfortunately also, the desperate Senator also feigned death of a candidate for the purpose of replacing them after the close of nomination. These are a few of the reckless acts of impunity that characterized the ruining of the party.

 

  • Complicity of Certain Judges of the Federal High Court:

The self-styled political leader teamed-up with others to amplify the division in the Ogun State Chapter of the PDP to a crisis level in 2010 till election time in 2011. Court orders were spuriously obtained, mainly Ex-Parte Orders from the Federal High Court in Lagos. Notably, Justice Okeke (retired), Justice Archibong (now dismissed), the now “notorious” Justice Okon Abang (then also of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court; now presiding in Abuja). The controversial ruling of Justice Kafarati of the Federal High Court, Abuja was all that was needed to change the political settings in Ogun State and Nigeria as a whole.

The Senator would boast openly that he has Judges on his pay roll. He soon became “Judicial Contractor” procuring orders and judgments at will.

It has become so bad that some politicians in the country have ascribed to him the status of “Judicial Master” or “Authority” by the frequency and ease with which the Senator has procured orders and Judgments most recently the Abia saga and ongoing Sheriff drama. He was the mastermind of the national leadership crisis of the PDP and instrumental to the removal of national officers of the PDP Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola (Former National Secretary of the PDP); Hon Bode Mustapha (National Auditor); Engr. Segun Oni (former South West Zonal Vice Chairman) and others. In their stead, he manipulated the Court (same Judges of the Federal High Court) to give ruling and curious judgment to remove national officers that ultimately destroyed the National Exco and brought a new set of national officers of the PDP (particularly the former National Secretary, Auditor and others) who were loyal to him. These offices are still in contention and are the basis for varied court rulings and judgments till date and as such an albatross to the National Conventions of May and August 2016.

It is equally surprising that Justice Abang and Buba of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja and Lagos respectively have been most controversial. In Suit No. Suit NO. FHC/L/CS/636/2016 before Hon Justice Buba, counsel for the Defendant (PDP)  filed a number of applications before the trial court to wit: Notice of preliminary objection dated 23rd of may 2016 and filed on the 24th of may 2016; Further affidavit in support of notice of preliminary objection dated and filed on the 7th of June 2016; Counter affidavit against Motion on Notice dated 6th of June and filed 7th of June 2016; Motion on Notice dated and filed 8th of June 2016; Motion for Stay of Proceedings dated 17th of June 2016 and filed on the 20th of June 2016. The trial court refused to hear any of the applications of the counsel for the PDP.

The trial court did not take into account the interest of the PDP on the issue of legal representation but rather ruled and imposed Counsel appointed by the Plaintiff on the Defendant, thereby making the matter “Ex-Parte” (one sided).

The counsel accorded recognition by the trial court did not file any process or application for and on behalf of the PDP as against several processes filed by the illegally excluded Counsel, and did not oppose the applications and or originating summons of the Plaintiff during proceedings. The trial court refused to take into account the fact that there is a disclaimer by the Former National Deputy Chairman of the Appellant, Prince Uche Secondus on the purported appointment of Mr. Godswill Mrakpo as the counsel for the Appellant. The trial court also refused to take into account the resolution of the National Caretaker Committee which appointed Mr. Ahmed Raji SAN and Dr. Yemi Oke as counsel for the Appellant.

Justice Buba made an order refusing to join other interested parties after excluding the Counsel appointed by the National Caretaker Committee and proceeded to hear the substantive matter same day on the 23rd of June 2016, which was not opposed by the Counsel he imposed on the PDP. The judged hurriedly adjourned the two suits to the following day, 24th June 2016, and gave judgment whereas there was no urgency.  The judgment was rushed and delivered without the PDP being given an opportunity to participate during the proceedings and or deliberately precluded from participating in the proceedings.

The subject matter is non-justiceable, being an intra-party and or domestic issue or affair of the PDP. The administrative remedy within PDP had not been exhausted as stipulated by law.  The subject matter relates to the control and management of the PDP which is not a matter within the competence of the Federal High Court. The reliefs sought by the Plaintiff relate to the activities of the Ogun State Executive committee which is outside the territorial jurisdiction of the Honourable Court. The matter is on appeal, and we are determined to vigorously pursue the appeal.

It is of great curiosity to us that despite the fact that Hon. Justice Okon Abang had been queried and issued several letters of warning in respect of Ogun State PDP and its members by the Chairman of the National Judicial Commission in person of the Justice Hon. Justice Mahmud Mohammed, CON, the Chief Justice of Nigeria/The Chairman, National Judicial Council (NJC).

For some reasons Justice Abang has continued to show particular interests on the matter of PDP in Ogun State.

For the record, the “Letter of Caution” dated 7th March 2016 has been made public.  Hon Dave Salako of Ogun State PDP wrote a petition dated December 9, 2013 and a follow-up petition dated 19th December, 2014 and another petition dated March 4, 2015 against Hon Justice Abang, on the subject matter to Hon. Justice Mahmud Mohammed (CON). On the same subject matter, similarly, Hon Kayode Amusan wrote a petition dated March 3, 2015 following the order he granted for the removal of his name from the nomination list of Independent National Electoral Committee over his supposed death.

This continued miscarriage of justice against PDP, Ogun State has compelled Hon. Sikirullai Ogundele, Chairman of PDP Ogun State to file a Motion (on behalf of the Executive of the PDP in Ogun State) before Justice Abang in Suit No: FHC/Abj/CS/464/2016 to join the suit as an interested party as well as for leave to appeal.  In the interests of justice, the Motion also specifically prays for an order staying further proceedings in the matter pending the determination of the Appeal lodged by the Interested Party/Applicant (Hon Sikirulai Ogundele) against the Orders of this Honourable Court contained in the Ruling of the Honourable Court dated 28th July, 2016. Specifically, it also prays for an order disqualifying Hon Justice Okon Abang from continuing to hear and/or preside in the matter on the ground of bias pending the determination of the Appeal lodged by the Interested Party/Applicant against the orders of this Honourable Court contained in the Ruling dated 28th July, 2016.

Sadly, and most bizarre of a judicial officer, at the proceedings on Monday 15th August, 2015, Hon Justice Abang harassed and intimidated Hon Sikirulai for filing a motion in Court and threatened to jail him and his Counsel for exercising their legal rights. At the appropriate time, Hon Sikirulai will take the matter of harassment and intimidation at the appropriate quarters.

 Hon Justice Abang is known to have given series of controversial rulings and judgment in cases involving Ogun State PDP. Only few days ago, the Justices of the Court of Appeal took their turn in expressing their displeasure for the messy judgment he gave in respect of the Abia State saga. These have been widely reported in the media under various captions. The ‘testimony’ of Justice Abang is well reported and has attained global notoriety. Quoting from the lead story in the Thisday newspaper of Friday August 19, 2016:

“Controversial Abuja Judge, Abang, Turned the Law on Its Head, Says A’Court:

Justice Ogunwumiju, who delivered the lead judgment yesterday in one of the appeals, held that Justice Abang “committed grave violence against one of the pillars of justice” relating to fair hearing…. She further held that Justice Abang raped democracy in his order that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should issue a certificate of return to Dr. Samson Ogah when there was no evidence of forgery or criminality against the appellant. …According to the court, the judgment given by Justice Abang was grossly erroneous, because it was based on inadequacy of tax receipts that could not be visited on the appellant (Ikpeazu). Justice Ogunwumiju held: “After reading through the judgment several times, I was amazed at how the trial judge arrived at his conclusion of perjury against the appellant when there was no evidence of forgery. His findings are ridiculous. “The judge must have sat in his chambers, unilaterally assessed and computed the taxes of the appellant and came to the conclusion that he did not pay the required taxes….

The above speak for itself. However, one keeps wondering why almost all cases involving Ogun State PDP that were filed by the law firm working exclusively for the Senator are done in Lagos (and sometimes Abuja) and always assigned then to Justice Okeke and Archibong; and now Justice Abang, Buba and Kafarati despite the fact that the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court have held (times without number) that Federal High Court has no jurisdiction in political matters; and despite the fact there is a Federal High Court in Abeokuta (assuming Federal High Court has jurisdiction). Even in the Abia case decided few days ago, the Court of Appeal, reiterated the fact that the Federal High Court lacks jurisdiction.

It needs to be pointed out that, most times, (if not all the times), the controversial rulings and judgements of these questionable Judges are upturned on appeal (if the adverse party demonstrates enough courage- if exigencies of times permits, to test the ruling or judgement on appeal. The recent Abia case is a classic example. The Court of Appeal in Ibadan had also reversed the removal of former National Secretary of the PDP, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola who was removed in a controversial ruling procured by the maverick Senator. However, Prince Oyinlola had since moved on.

 

  • Our Vision and Determination:

As true democrats, we remain committed to the task of democracy which thrives on effective and efficient opposition politicking. We have been at the receiving end of injustice perpetrated by the above named judicial officers and their collaborators, including some senior police officers.

While we remain resolute, we wish to state emphatically that we’ll do all reasonably possible to pursue and continue to pursue justice and rule of law in Nigeria no matter the inconvenience of doing so.  We seek to provide the people of Ogun State with credible alternatives. We aspire to instill confidence in governance and alleviate the sufferings of the good people of Ogun State. We believe that our great party, the PDP remains the best political platform for achieving our vision and objectives given its sound manifestoes and track records of governance and leadership, particularly in Ogun State. We undertake to continue in hot pursuit of fairness, justice, rule of law and enthronement of democratic values.

 

  • Conclusion:

In conclusion, I wish to state that the disruptions of the National Convention of our party in May and August 2016 are as a result of certain desperate party members of Ogun State extraction who desired to lord it over everyone through the manipulation of judicial process and other institutions. I appeal to all fellow party members and our supporters to remain resolute and stand united as we relentlessly pursue justice, fairness and equity.  In the end, the PDP, Ogun State and Nigeria will be better for it if we all do that which is noble, honorable, reasonable and patriotic.

I cannot but mention the dastardly physical assault on my person during the just concluded convention in Port-Harcourt. It is interesting to note that as a ranking member of the NASS of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who had the privilege to serve for the first time in the 3rd NASS, and now presently serving in the 8th NASS was attacked by a hoodlum Senator who during my first tenure was essentially a miscreant and a fugitive to law. By continued silence, it would appear that one is complacent or part of the silent conspiracy to overlook the short comings of people that have come into sudden pre eminence today. Often, I asked myself if the issue of who is “Eso Jinadu” is addressed as regards the jail break wouldn’t the purpose of justice be properly served and the trauma PDP and the nation is going through mitigated?

I wish to use this forum to rededicate myself to the challenges, struggles and victories ahead. My supporters and I will continue to remain firm and unflinching in our loyalty and support for the national leadership of the Party under His Excellency, Senator Armed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party; the Ogun State Executive Committee of the PDP under the leadership of Hon. Sikirulai Ogundele, and all party institutions, organs and leadership at the national, state and other levels.

I remain firmly committed to the ideals and visions of the founding fathers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and Ogun State in particular.

 

God bless our party, PDP

God bless our Great Nation Nigeria.

Thank you for listening.

HON. OLADIPUPO ADEBUTU

 

BIG STORY

Why I Won’t Support Northerner As APC Presidential Candidate – Lalong

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The Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, said he is backing the presidential ambition of a former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, saying he won’t back any of the aspirants from the North.

Lalong made the declaration in Jos when Amaechi was in the state to woo delegates in the state ahead of the party’s primaries.

Lalong said Amaechi had contributed immensely to the state in no small measure and would receive full support from Plateau leaders, including former Speakers of the House of Assembly, and current state lawmakers.

In a statement made available to our correspondent on Saturday, Lalong was quoted as saying, “Amaechi has all the qualities of a good leader, and would save the country from its insecurity problems, as well as bring development to all parts of the country, adding that Plateau State has benefited a lot from Amaechi and it’s payback time.’’

Lalong stressed that Amaechi had all it takes to tackle insecurity in the country. He said Ameachi had relationships with the security experts and the former security chiefs and would engage them.

He recalled that Ameachi helped party chieftains in the northern states, especially Plateau State, to join and register with the APC. He also said that the former minister spoke for the state at the Federal Executive Council meetings whenever it needed the urgent intervention and approvals from the Presidency.

“Sir, you invested in Plateau State, that is why you are going to reap in Plateau State. We came back, we had security issues, you were our minister. For most of the approvals you saw from the President, it was this man (Amaechi) that was pushing for us. Amaechi was our minister, not minding that he is from Rivers State. We got almost everything.”

Lalong disclosed that he received ample support for his re-election bid from Ameachi, He also said “They mentioned railway, but you brought Shipper’s Council to us, you restored our inland container to us, so many things that you did. As I’m talking, the first set of people you took to China, seven of them are Plateau boys, and very soon they are coming back as experts in engineering. We can go on and on.

“We had already taken a decision; all former members of the Houses of Assembly decided that wherever you go, we would follow you. So, if you calculate the number of former Speakers that we have in Nigeria, I think you already have 30 percent votes,” he said.

Also, the Majority Leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Yakubu Sande, declared bloc support for Amaechi.

“I have the privilege to move this historic motion and say categorically, that members of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Chairmen of the 17 Local Government Areas, we have super delegates and national delegates, all represented today, and what I’m doing today is an endorsement by the delegates of Plateau State,” Sande said.

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BIG STORY

2023: I’m Qualified, I Eat ‘Garri’ Daily – Amaechi To Niger Delegates

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Former Minister of Transportation and presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, Rotimi Amaechi, has stated that he is more experienced than any presidential aspirant in Nigeria, especially because he came from a very low background.

Amaechi made the statement when he met with delegates of the APC in Niger State on Thursday ahead of the party’s primary elections, saying that he could easily connect with the poor as he used to, and still, eat ‘garri’ three times a day.

The former minister stated that, apart from his vast experience, having served and delivered as Speaker, Governor, Minister, and Director-General of two successful presidential campaigns, there existed a difference between him and other aspirants, a fact that he was a better-experienced politician and a people-person.

“Another difference between me and them is that I am a politician, they’re not. The difference is that I can walk to you and I’ll talk, discuss with you.

He added that his humble background had allowed him to understand the plight of the common person and relate easily with them.

“I can connect easily with the people. I wasn’t born into a rich family. My father was a poor man, and the only English my mother knows how to speak in pidgin English. I ate garri three times a day, and I still eat garri three times a day till today, so I know poverty”, he said.

He told the people of Niger that he understood their problem of insecurity therefore he had an idea of the problem bedeviling the state.

“I know what you’re suffering, I was governor of Rivers State when they were kidnapping two months old children, and I never slept until everybody slept.

“But in six months, we brought down insecurity in Rivers State,” Amaechi said.

He opined that now is the time for the people of the North and all Nigerians to stand by him, as he did for the country when he supported the emergence of President Buhari, Muhammadu Buhari, without looking at whether he was from the North or South.

“When everybody was fighting me, saying ‘he’s supporting a northern candidate, he’s supporting a Hausa/Fulani candidate,’ I remained steadfast that I was supporting a Nigerian candidate. Now it’s your turn to,” he said.

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BIG STORY

Let’s Work With Whoever Emerges At Primary – Osinbajo

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The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday, in Rivers State, has said despite the number of aspirants vying for the All Progressives Congress presidential ticket, they must be willing to rally around and support whoever emerges candidate in the forthcoming primary elections.

This was as he said there was no need for hostility among aspirants as the ultimate goal remained the country’s unity.

According to a statement signed on Friday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo spoke in Rivers in continuation of his nationwide consultations with stakeholders and delegates of the APC.

The statement was titled ‘APC has greatest potential to do the best for Nigeria, says Osinbajo in rivers.’

In his call for unity, the Vice President noted that all the aspirants that had made public, their intention to run for president under the APC, were progressives.

He said, “We are all progressives, we represent the same point of view that this country can be better; that we can improve the fortunes of our young people; that our country can be a great place. Every one of us has that desire, and every one of us can achieve that, given the chance.

“Everywhere I’ve gone, I’ve pointed out that there is no need for conflict of any kind, especially among presidential aspirants. All of us, who are presidential aspirants, have either worked together or eaten together in one place or the other. We are aspirants today, but only one person would emerge, and we must be prepared to work with that person.”

According to him, the best aspirant should be chosen to lead the party as its presidential candidate in 2023.

The Vice President also noted that the governing APC had the greatest potential to do the best for Nigeria and ensure its further development and progress.

“We are also, of course, completely at one on the idea that the party needs to be united. So, everything that needs to be done is being done and will be done to ensure the unity of the aspirants.

“Our party is, as you know, not just the ruling party, but the party that has the greatest potential to do the best for this country,” he noted.

With regards to his consultations with the delegates, Prof. Osinbajo disclosed that “What we spent our time doing today was talking more about national issues, about issues of development; and we all affirm that we have to do a lot of work; we are willing and able to do the work.”

Before his interaction with the APC delegates and stakeholders in Rivers, the Vice President had paid a courtesy to the Rivers State Traditional Council led by the King Jaja of Opobo, Dr. Dandeson Jaja, Jeki V, Natural Ruler, Amanyanabo of the Opobo Kingdom, who is also the Chairman of the Council.

Informing the monarchs of his aspiration to run for president, he said, “Our country is at a critical phase in its existence and every country faces its challenges. Our country is facing some of the biggest challenges it has ever faced.

“This current administration has faced more security challenges than any other administration. But I am confident that, not only will we be able to tackle the challenges today, we will be able to tackle the challenges of the future.”

In his remarks, King Jaja of Opobo thanked the Vice President for his “good wishes” and for sending a representative to his 80th birthday celebration saying “That was very kind of you. Let us campaign in peace and let us not add to the challenges that we are going through already.”

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