The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP has defended the suspension of former Governor of Osun state, Mr. Olagunsoye Oyinlola and others, saying it was done in strict compliance with the party’s constitution.
Oyinlola was suspended last week two days shortly after he was reinstated as national secretary of the party by the the appeal court.
National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr. Olisa Metuh, told journalists in Abuja that the party was yet to receive the Appeal Court judgment, hinged the suspension of Oyinlola and others by the Bamanga Tukur-led National Working Committee, NWC, on Article 57 (3) of the party’s constitution.
The article “expressly empowers the national working committee, NWC, to suspend anybody at the national level and to refer the matter to the disciplinary committee,” Metuh said.
He noted that it would be out of place for anyone to expect the party to go to the court to beg to be given or served the court judgment as it was not a charity organisation.
He also accused Oyinlola of wasting time and not serving the party the judgment, adding that he slept over his right.
According to him: “There is no self-help. PDP is not a charitable organisation to help people settle down. He was negligent enough not to serve us the court judgment.
“He slept over his right. If someone sleeps over his right, we cannot help. We have not been served the court judgment. PDP cannot act on what it has not seen.”
He further explained that: Article 57 (3)section 57 (3) of the party constitution, 2012, as amended says, “the Working Committee, at any level of the party, and the executive committee (at the Ward Level) may, after preliminary hearings, suspend a member from the party for a period not exceeding one month, during which period the member so suspended shall lose his right to contest any election, and shall be referred to the appropriate disciplinary committee.”
It will be recalled that the crisis rocking the party got messier on Monday as the national leadership of the party suspended Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
Also suspended alongside Oyinlola were chairman of the splinter group of the party and former Acting National Chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje; the group’s Deputy Chairman, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja; and the National Vice-Chairman, North-West, Ambassador Ibrahim Kazaure.
Disclosing the decision of the Bamanga Tukur-led NWC, Metuh who cited Section 58(I) had said, “subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the party shall have power to discipline any member, who says or does anything likely to bring the party into disrespect, hatred or contempt; engages in disorderly conduct at meetings or rallies or at any party functions;
“Engages in any conduct likely to cause disaffection among members of the party or is likely to disrupt the peaceful, lawful and efficient conduct of the business of the party; engages in unauthori-sed publicity of disputes within the party or creates a parallel party organ at any level.”
“Also, PDP NWC can act on behalf of NEC and take decisions on behalf of NEC as stated in Article 29 (2b) that ‘in case of emergency, the NWC act on behalf of the Na-tional Executive Committee subject to ratification by the National Executive Committee, NEC.”
Metuh said the claims by Oyinlola and members of the Abubakar Baraje splinter group that their suspension was mischievous was a selective reading of the party’s constitution.
He also accused Oyinlola, Baraje and Jaja of adopting selective amnesia in handling the issue of suspension slammed on them by the party, saying that the party has only one constitution that was applicable to everyone.