By Hashim Abioye Esq.
My attention has been drawn to a post being circulated on the social media having to do with the appeal filed by Prince Dotun Babayemi against the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo which struck out Babayemi’s case for want of jurisdiction on ground of lack of locus standi. I laughed at the desperate fallacy, falsehood and the sheer display of ignorance with which the post was embellished and am still laughing. However, I was forced to react to the post because of the numerous calls and messages by concerned party members, loyalists, supporters and sympathisers of the PDP especially in this period when the good people of Osun State and lovers across the Nation and beyond are still celebrating the victory of the Party at the just concluded guber polls.
At first blush, I must acknowledge that I have at the tip of my fingers virtually all the facts and issues about all the cases involving the PDP in Osun State, therefore, if you need a fact check on some of those matters, I am an authority. Well, I want to say that I had read something like that about 2 weeks ago by an embittered supporter of a rival political Party (not the APC) who was deliberately and desperately attacking the PDP so as to raise the hope for his own Party at the polls, by ignorantly claiming that the Federal High Court Osogbo recognised the delegates of Dotun Babayemi but that they gathered at the wrong venue for the PDP guber primaries. It was this same post that the APC propagandists cropped, put pepper, oil, salt and other ingredients to be peddling around after losing woefully to Senator Nurudeen Ademola Adeleke at the polls in a bid to cushion the serious shock of the defeat they suffered at the polls, so as to raise a hopeless hope of reaping where they did not sow.
Let me inform the public that the Federal Court sitting in Abuja had in FHC/ABJ/CS/322/202 validated and authenticated the primary election that produced Adeleke as the candidate of the PDP for the Osun 2022 governorship election. The judgment which was delivered on 28/4/2022 also mandated INEC to recognise and accept only Adeleke as the candidate of the PDP to the exclusion of any other person. On 6th May, 2022, Prince Dotun Babyemi sought leave to appeal the said judgment to the Court of Appeal, Abuja in CA/ABJ/ROA/CV/474M/2022 but leave was refused therefore his appeal ( the application for leave to appeal) was dismissed on 8th June, 2022. As at the time the Court of Appeal Abuja gave its decision, the Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo had struck out Babayemi’s case which he instituted to authenticate his own primary election held at WOCDIF. The Federal High Court Osogbo examined the facts of the case of Babayemi who claimed that he was banking on some court orders secured by Hon. Adagunodo as the premise of his own case to bring the action, and the Court came to a conclusion that it is only the primary election conducted by the National Leadership of the Party that is cognizable under the law.
The Court further held that the primary election held at Osogbo City Stadium was the one to be reckoned with having been conducted by the appropriate organ of the Party which is the NWC duly monitored by INEC. I challenge the peddlers of the false story to quote a portion of the judgment of the Federal High Court, Osogbo, that stated that Babayemi had the right delegates but at the wrong venue. No such holding. Infact the Court went to town in its judgment condemning Babayemi’s action of challenging a primary election at which he was not physically and personally present. The Court further condemned Babayemi’s suit as one that did not meet the requisite legal requirement having admitted that his own primary was conducted by a controversial acting state chairman, since no other organ or person has the right to conduct the primary election of a party other than the National Body. The suit was struck out on ground of lack of the requisite locus to sue. The judgment was delivered on 18th May, 2022.
Prince Dotun Babayemi earlier rushed to the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja as earlier mentioned by an application he filed on 6th May, 2022, and on 8th June, 2022, his application was refused by the Court of Appeal Abuja. He then rushed back to pursue an appeal against the decision of the Federal High Court, Osogbo, which appeal has been heard in CA/AK/98/2022, and judgment reserved till Wednesday 20/06/2022.
Babayemi’s appeal is principally on the striking out of his case by the Federal High Court Osogbo on ground of locus standi. He was contending before the Federal High Court Osogbo that he should be declared the authentic candidate of the Party, he was not saying that primary did not hold, however, the court declined jurisdiction in his case and threw it out. That decision is what he is battling out at the Court of Appeal.
However, the concern of leaders, members, supporters, loyalists and sympathisers of the PDP and the Governor-elect, Adeleke, are as a result of some fabricated and fallacious post being circulated around by the APC apologists in order to assuage the pains of their loss at the polls, and to raise the hope of a horse bearer who wants to claim as his horse’s the calf of a herder’s cattle. That hope is that of “O ‘lule”.
Like I stated earlier, I wouldn’t have reacted but the pressure has been so much. It’s important to state that there is a subsisting judgment of the Federal High Court Abuja which has been affirmed by a subsisting decision of the Court of Appeal, Abuja confirming the authenticity, validity and regularity of the primary election which produced Senator Ademola Adeleke, so no qualms as there’s nothing to worry about.
For those who have been peddling falsehood all over in a desperate attempt to kill the joyous mood of celebration by the people of Osun State, I advise them that they should know that courts of law do not deal with emotions, speculations and sentiments. Courts deal with the issues before them and no court worth its salt would leave the arena of justice to be scavenging for opinions by the roadside or at the market square. Courts deal with the live issues before them. What is contained in the post being circulated on the social media regarding Babayemi’s appeal is a salacious fallacy. We can’t be jittery in victory!!!
Let no one make any comment on a matter that is due for judgment before my noble and erudite law lords of the Court of Appeal who don’t cave in to sentiments and emotions of sheer opinionists. Let us not cry wolves where none exists. I conclude this piece by saying that “KOSIGIRI, IMOLE TI TAN L’OSUN!”
Hashim Abioye Esq.
Secretary Osun PDP Legal Committee.