Tracereporters.com …The tussle for the Leadership of SDP came up on Monday 17th of February before Justice Ojukwu at the Federal High Court.
Social Democratic Party (SDP) led by Chief Supo Shonibare & other National Executive Committee Members had by an Originating Summons required the Courts to make declaratory orders that Prof Tunde Adeniran, Alhaji Shehu Gabam & other appointed members into the National Executive were not appointed in compliance with the Party’s Constitution.
Dr KAYODE Ajulo had on behalf of Alhaji Shehu Gabam & Prof Adeniran (under the guise of their being the rightful representatives of SDP) filed a preliminary objection to the Shonibare led Exco suing on behalf of the Party. Mr Tani Molajo, SAN had however insisted that SDP & other Plaintiffs in the action led by Chief Supo Shonibare were the rightful parties & that the Preliminary objection was misconceived as the Court could only look at its own records to determine the Parties in the suit. Moreover, it was Alhaji Shehu Gabam- 2nd Defendant who signed the letter of instructions on behalf of SDP.
Upon the hearing today, Mr Ahmed Raji, SAN, said he was taking over the action and now leading Dr Ajulo. Raji withdrew the preliminary objection, which was struck out and has now filed a fresh application challenging the jurisdiction of the Court to hear the case.
This in effect maintains the status of the parties in the action being Chief Supo Shonibare as the Acting National Chairman of SDP with all the other positions occupied by the other elected officers, pending the determination of the Originating Summons before the Court. Mr Molajo, SAN had asked for substantial costs to be awarded against some of the Defendants after the Notice of Preliminary Objection was struck out. Mr Ahmed Raji however implored the Court to take the undertaking he was making from the Bar that he would personally initiate a move of settlement between the Parties.
The Judge cited either having to look at issue bordering on misconduct if she was to award substantial cost & that with the suggestion by counsel of possible settlement, that she was inclined not to award costs. The matter was adjourned to 24th March 2020 for hearing of the
Asked whether Shonibare led SDP National Executive committee will be favourably disposed to settlement as requested by Mr Ahmed Raji, the council to the Adeniran led faction, Alh Alfa Mohammed,
National publicity secretary of the party said, “why not? As long as Prof Adeniran and Shehu Gabam will stop parading themselves as SDP National Chairman and National Secretary respectively, as they are strangers in the party and never stood any election to warrant such status. They can be forgiven and allowed to contest at any time we are having our elective National Convention if they show remorse”.