In connection with Friday’s judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja, Prof. Wale Oladipo has just been sworn in as substantive national secretary of the Bamanga Tukur-led Peoples Democratic Party, effectively dashing the hope of Olagunsoye Oyinlola, a former Osun state governor, returning to the post.
Mr. Oyinlola however remains the national secretary of the Kawu Baraje-led faction of the party.
Mr. Oladipo replaces Remi Akitoye who acted as party secretary since June 20.
In its judgment, the court had held that the July 13 South West extra-ordinary congress, which produced Mr. Oladipo, was properly conducted.
The ruling followed a motion filed by the Chairman and Secretary of the Ogun State Chapter of PDP, Adebayo Dayo and Semiu Sodipo respectively.
The INEC, PDP, and Mr. Oyinlola were joined as defendants.
Mr. Oladipo, a professor from Osun State, was nominated national secretary on July 13, following the sack of Mr. Oyinlola on January 11 by the same court, which also ordered a fresh congress to pick another secretary for the party.
However, before his nomination at the extra-ordinary South West Congress of the PDP in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, the party had on June 20, appointed Remi Akintoye, as acting national secretary.
Mr. Oyinlola is still in court appealing the judgement sacking him, although he was named and has been acting as the national secretary of the Kawu Baraje-led PDP faction since August 31.
Delivering Friday’s ruling, the judge, Abdul Kafarati, asked both the party and the national electoral body to delete Mr. Oyinlola’s name in their records and replace it with that of Mr. Oladipo.
He also extended to July 13 this year, the time limit he had granted in his January 11 judgment, for the conduct of the South West zonal congress.
Mr. Kafarati rejected arguments by Mr. Oyinlola and the ruling party that the court had functus officio, having delivered the January 11 judgement.
According to him, fresh application on the case did not mean reopening it or effecting changes on the earlier judgment, but merely to regularize the steps adopted in complying with the judgement.
On Mr. Oyinlola’s argument that the court could not consider the application because he was appealing the January 11 judgement, Mr. Kafarati held that it would not have any effect on the judgement and the appeal filed.
According to him, he did not have any evidence to indicate that the former governor was appealing the judgement, insisting that mere notice of appeal, would not serve enough ground to stay proceedings on the case before him.
Mr. Kafarati also declined to accept the attempt by the applicants’ lawyer, Babs Akinwunmi, to move an ex-parte motion seeking leave for substituted service of court documents relating to a contempt case on Messrs Oyinlola, Baraje and Sam Jaja, all of the Baraje-led PDP faction.