The Supreme Court on Tuesday struck out an appeal filed for the Oladipupo Adebutu-Sikirulai Ogundele group of the Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking to invalidate the Adebayo Dayo-led Executive of the party in the state.
The Notice of Appeal was filed on their behalf by Chief Chris Uche (SAN), with an application praying the Supreme Court for an extension of time to appeal against the judgment of the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal which had dismissed an appeal against the judgment of Buba J. of the Federal High Court delivered on the 24th of June, 2016.
Justice Buba’s judgment had been delivered in respect of Suit No FHC/L/CS/636/2016 brought by the Dayo -led Exco to stop the National Exco of the PDP from dissolving them and replacing them with a harmonized exco to be led by Ogundele.
In that judgment Buba J. ordered the PDP to operate in Ogun State only through the Dayo-led Exco until their term expires in 2020.
As the 2019 elections drew near, however, there was a heightened interest to set this judgment aside, especially after Senator Buruji Kashamu became the governorship candidate of the PDP in Ogun State.
The Ogundele faction backed by the Prince Uche Secondus-led NWC of the party relied on an affidavit filed by one Barrister Godswill Mrakpor who claimed to have wrongly withdrawn the appeal against the Justice Buba’s judgment.
On that basis, they applied to relist the appeal and when that failed instructed Mr. Emeka Etiaba (SAN) to appeal to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court struck that appeal out as statute-barred on the 18th of February, 2019.
Not satisfied with the situation and apparently in anticipation of congresses for new party excos in 2020, the Adebutu-Ogundele group instructed Chief Chris Uche (SAN) to file another appeal.
The application for extension of time to file the new appeal came up today (Tuesday) before the Supreme Court.
Chief Chris Uche (SAN), leading other lawyers, tried to introduce the application but soon came under fire when it was pointed out by R.A. Oluyede (counsel to Engr. Adebayo Dayo-led Exco) that the appeal was a rehash of the previous one which the Supreme Court had found to be a pre-election matter and therefore statute-barred.
Oluyede emphasized that the current appeal was an abuse of process and statute-barred having been found by the Supreme Court to be a pre-election matter.
Despite a spirited attempt by Chief Chris Uche (SAN) to distinguish the two appeals the panel presided over by Justice Rhodes Vivour held that the court was bound by its previous decision that the matter was statute-barred.
The court thereupon rejected the application for extension of time and struck out the appeal as statute-barred.
One of the justices remarked that “there must be an end to litigation”.
With this latest decision of the apex court – the second in six months – the battle for the control of the soul of the PDP in Ogun State has been permanently resolved in favour of the Dayo-led Exco, which has the backing of Senator Buruji Kashamu who was the party’s governorship candidate in the 2019 general election.