There were indications in Abuja on Tuesday that the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party in the South-West might not be resolved before the December 9 national convention of the party.
This is because of the two conflicting rulings by two divisions of the Court of Appeal on the crisis rocking the party in the zone.
While the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal on Monday adjourned two motions seeking to relist two appeals it had dismissed till April 12, 2018, the Ado-Ekiti Division same day granted an order for a stay of execution of the order and proceedings in a matter seeking the enforcement of an earlier judgment.
The confusion arose out of the interpretation being given to the two orders.
While the Eddy Olafeso faction claimed the order for stay of execution from the Ado-Ekiti Division of the appellate court had conferred legitimacy on its group, the Makanjuola Ogundipe-led exco says it remains the authentic executive that should go to the convention by virtue of a subsisting judgment that has yet to be set aside on appeal.
Ogundipe, in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, insisted that his executive would attend the convention.
However, the Eddy Olafeso-led group is also insisting that it has triumphed over the Ogundipe-led executive.
The Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal had on May 4, 2017 dismissed two appeals against the judgment of the Federal High Court, Lagos recognising the Ogundipe-led South-West zonal exco as well the Mr. Adebayo Dayo-led Ogun State PDP executive.
Specifically, two PDP matters came up on Monday at the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal.
The first one, CA/L/863/2016 was said to be between the PDP and Pegba Otemolu & others, while the second case marked, CA/L/864/2016 was between the PDP and Mr. Adebayo Dayo & others.
Makanjuola said, “The two matters came up for the hearing of motions filed by Dr. Yemi Oke on behalf of the appellants to vacate the Court of Appeal ruling which dismissed the appeals.
“However, despite all the efforts mounted by the appellant’s counsel, Oke, the Court of Appeal refused to hear the application as other respondents in the matters were not served the hearing notice.
“Consequently, the court adjourned the two appeals till 12th April, 2018, for hearing of the motions.
“On the same Monday, the Ado-Ekiti Division of the Court of Appeal granted an order for a stay of execution of the order restraining Dr. Eddy Olafeso-led group from participating in the December 9 national convention.”
Reacting to the rulings, Ogundipe said, “The attention of the authentic South-West zonal executive under my leadership has been drawn to the Monday, 4th December, 2017 order of the Court of Appeal, Ekiti Division and a press statement credited to Eddy Olafeso who has continued to contemptuously lay claim to the leadership of the party in the zone.
“First, it should be made abundantly clear that the order for a stay of execution relates to the orders in Suit No. FHC/AD/CS/18/2017. Let all our notable leaders, elders and supporters know that it does not in any way detract from the implications of the orders and judgment of the court in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/605/2016 which specifically nullified the sham congress from which Olafeso claimed to have emerged and then went ahead to confirm my four years tenure as expiring in October 2018 having been elected on the October 11, 2014.
“I wish to state that in spite of the inexplicable decision of the Court of Appeal, Ado-Ekiti Division, to make an order even when there was an evidence that we (the defendants) had not been served and had no legal representation in court, my exco remains strong and undaunted.”
Olafeso, in his reaction to the Appeal Court order, however, thanked Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, describing the order as “a victory over the forces of darkness.”
He said that the proceedings at the Court of Appeal, Ado Ekiti should be a clear message to those who “have used crooked judicial process to hold our party down that their game has come to an inglorious end.”
The Federal High Court had ordered the Olafeso faction to stop parading itself as executive members of the party in the South-West.
The order of the Ado-Ekiti Division of the Federal High Court was based on the fact that the Lagos Division of the court had on the 17th of May, 2016, held the congress that produced the Olafeso group was held in violation of subsisting order of the court.