Lagos (WorldStage Newsonline)-- The forthcoming local government election in Ogun State ran into a hitch on Monday as a Federal High Court in Lagos restrained the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) from taking any further action in respect of the election pending the hearing of a contempt proceeding before it.
The contempt proceeding is against some chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and some principal officers of the electoral body.
Specifically, those cited in the contempt proceeding as alleged contemnors included Tunde Oladunjoye, (who was recently appointed as a media aide to the Agric Minister, Akin Adesina), Ireti Oniyide, Faisiu Bakenne.
OGSIEC was cited alongside its principal officers - Alhaja Risikat Ogunfemi, Alhaji Korede Lawal, Alhaji Bisiyu Adekanmi, Mutiu Agboke, Oyediran Aina, Kolawole Odesanya and Adetokunbo Williams.
The committal proceeding seeks to commit the alleged contemnors to prison for allegedly disobeying a judgment of the court delivered on May 2, 2012 declaring Dayo Soremi faction of the PDP as the authentic state executive of the party in Ogun State.
At Monday's sitting, Justice Charles Archibong ordered that no action should be taken in respect of the local government elections pending the hearing of the contempt charge, which is the subject of the suit before him, and fixed the matter to July 4.
The judge also stressed that his order must be obeyed by all parties in the suit, failure of which disciplinary powers of the court would be evoked.
The court had earlier bared OGSIEC from accepting nominations of candidates from the PDP for the local government election. That order was contained in two ex-parte applications brought by Adebayo Dayo and Semiu Sodipo.
The court had then specifically restrained OGSIEC, its agents and officials from dealing with any other persons or groups except the plaintiffs pending the determination of the committal proceeding.
The judge also restrained OGSIEC from publishing or processing any manner or for any purpose, any list of names or persons submitted to it as candidates of the PDP for the state’s 2012 Local Government elections by any other person or group of persons except the plaintiffs, pending the determination of the motion on notice for committal.
Also restrained were Ogunfemi, Lawal, Adekanmi, Agboke, Aina, Odesanya and Williams (described as the moving minds of OGSIEC).
The electoral body was by the order restrained from accepting candidates’ nominations from any other groups or persons including Ireti Oniyide, Tunde Oladunjoye and Faisiu Bakenne except the plaintiffs, who sued for themselves and on behalf of the state’s Executives Committee of the PDP.
Justice Achibong, while granting leave to the plaintiffs to serve all processes in the case on the defendants outside jurisdiction, also granted them leave to serve OGSIEC, Oniyide, Oladunjoye and Bakenne (cited as alleged contemnors in the motion for committal) by delivering court processes on an adult persons within the premises of their addresses.
The judge granted the plaintiffs leave to serve Form 48 - notice of consequences of disobedience of court order - and all other processes in the suit on the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bamanga Tukur; the National Secretary, Olagunsoye Oyinlola and the party’s National Auditor, Bode Mustapha (who was sacked by the court's earlier judgment).