Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde’s allegations of wrong doings and professional misconducts, in respect of the party’s South West zonal Congress and the Lagos State chapter Congress, levelled against the PDP National Legal Adviser, Barr Emmanuel Enoidem, are totally unfounded and misplaced, the PDP National Legal Adviser, has declared.
Enoidem’s response comes on the heels of Governor Makinde’s press conference where he accused the party’s legal adviser of professional misconduct. In a statement issued on Friday and personally signed by Barr Enoidem, the PDP Legal Adviser said he ordinarily would not have joined issues with Governor Makinde, whom he described as one of the leaders of the PDP, but that he is compelled to since unfortunately, the Oyo State Governor did not give the true position of the facts of the matter both as it concerns the South West Zonal Congress and the Lagos State Chapter of our party before accusing him of wrong doings and professional misconducts.
On the issue of the South West Congress, Barr Enoidem stated that it is public knowledge that the National Working Committee, NWC, of the PDP, in its meeting held on February 23, 2021, resolved to hold Zonal Congresses which were place on hold for some domestic and house keeping reasons on March 6, 2021.
“However, when arrangements were made for the conduct of the congresses, I reminded the NWC that there is an interlocutory injunction, a copy of which had earlier been placed on the NWC Whatsapp’s platform, issued by the Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos State on January 19, 2021, restraining the Party from conducting the South West Congress until the determination of the Originating Summons. The suit No. is FHC/L/CS/63/2021 and the Parties are: HON. DAYO OGUNGBENRO & 11 ORS ( representing members of the Caretaker Committee of the South West Zone) and PRINCE UCHE SECONDUS ( representing NWC &NEC), EMMANUEL ENOIDEM (National Legal Adviser) & PDP”, he stated.
He observed that his office and the Party became aware of the case on January 22, 2021, when the party were served with the originating processes and the order of injunction.
According to Barr Enoidem, “On January 25, 2021, I instructed Segun Arowoyele, Esq, of Brainfield Law Chambers, 33, Adegbola Street, Lagos, to represent the Party in the case, pursuant to the powers given to the National Legal Adviser in Section 42 (1) (b) of the Constitution 2017 (as amended)”.
“The allegations made by His Excellency, Governor Makinde that the Party or the NLA, instituted the case as Plaintiffs and Defendants and proceeded to instruct legal representations for both the Plaintiffs and the Defendants are totally incorrect, false and gross misrepresentations of the facts. May I say again for the avoidance of doubt, that there is no truth in those allegations at all. I have never met and I do not know any of the Plaintiffs in the case up till this very moment. The South West Zonal officers of the Party were selected under the superintendency of His Excellency, Governor Makinde. So he is in a position to know them”, Enoidem submitted.
He stated that as PDP’s Legal Adviser, it will smack of professional irresponsibility if he were to advise the Party to proceed with the South West Zonal Congress as scheduled in the face of a very positive restraining order from the Court. “Our Party was founded on the principles of the rule of law and due process and the present NWC is a stickler and an unrepentant adherent to these principles” he reminded Governor Makinde.
On the Lagos State Chapter of the party, Barr Enoidem stated that on November 13, 2019, the NWC, through the office of the National Organising Secretary, conducted a Special State Congress to fill five vacant offices that were created in the Lagos Chapter on account of resignation, death and defections.
He stated that a faction of Party in Lagos State went to Court to challenge the powers of the Party to conduct the Special State Congress. They alleged that it was the right of the Lagos Chapter to fill the vacant positions and they filed committal proceedings against the National Chairman and the Committee members that conducted the Special State Congress led by Senator Ben Obi, sometime in June 2020, but that the party got the committal proceedings dismissed.
According to the PDP National Legal Adviser, thereafter, Governor Makinde, met and informed him of his intention to get the matter settled out of Court that he has already discussed it with the National Chairman.
“I was, as should be expected, delighted and I informed HE that as a prelude to that, he should prevail on the Plaintiffs in the case to withdraw the matter from court to pave way for the settlement. He said he was going to do that and that he will inform me of further development. From June 2020, when he told me this, I did not hear from His Excellency on any development in the matter. The case was also caught up by the Covid-19 lockdown and the arson that engulfed the Lagos State High Court during the EndSARS protests. All these provided sufficient window of opportunity for His Excellency to perfect the proposed out of Court settlement of the case. This was not done”, he revealed.
Enoidem in his statement further stated that sometime in February 2021, the party received a hearing notice from the Court for the continuation of hearing in the case fixed for February 16, 2021 but since he was not disposed to be in court, he instructed one of the lawyers in the legal department to represent the Party, the National Chairman and others who were sued as Defendants in the case, reaffirming his position that the Party was not the Plaintiff in the Lagos case but defendants, alongside its officers including the National Chairman.
He noted with dismay that it is quite regretful that Governor Makinde chose to take the matter to the public domain by addressing a press conference without even a call to him or even the National Chairman of the Parry on any suspicion of any malfeasance or professional misconducts on my part, stating that it is on the strength of the foregoing, that he considered it imperative to put the records straight for the benefit of the leadership of the party, the teaming membership and the general public, who may have watched the Governor’s briefing and or read same from the cyberspace.
In his words, “By the rule of procedure, it is only the Plaintiff(s) who instituted a case that have/has the prerogative to withdraw same. The Defendant(s), no matter how well meant, have/has no powers to withdraw any case from Court except to apply for same to be dismissed or struck out for want of prosecution. If His Excellency, Governor Makinde has met any failure in settling the factions in Lagos, it was not on account of any fault of the National Legal Adviser or the NWC for that matter. The NWC/NLA actively, at all times, encourage settlement of intra-party conflicts in all our organs, arms and between members. It is indeed, the best way to handle such matters as they are called domestic affairs and so non-justiciable”
He stated that it is obvious from the state of the facts that the attacks, insinuations and blames piled on and leveled against his person and office by Governor Makinde are totally unfounded, misplaced and needless.