Executive members of the Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, led by Dayo Bayo, Monday, withdrew a contempt case it filed against former Ogun State Governor, and ex-Speaker, House of Representatives, Gbenga Daniel and Dimeji Bankole respectively, and a PDP member, Dave Salako.
Ajibola Oluyede, counsel to the state PDP exco, notified the court of his clients’ discontinuance of the case, in which they sought that Daniel, Bankole and Salako be committed to prison for disobeying an earlier order.
Oluyede’s fresh application stood on the basis of a Federal High Court ruling which affirmed that the PDP exco are legal holders of their current offices.
Based on this, Afolabi Fashanu and Professor Taiwo Osipitan, both senior advocates and counsels to Bankole and Daniel, asked the court to dismiss, and, not merely strike out the case. Yemi Oke, counsel to Salako, aligned with the duo.
The respondents’ lawyers explained that the case if dismissed would not be brought back except through an appeal, whereas the plaintiffs are at liberty to re-file it, if it is merely struck out.
Osipitan also argued that since Daniel was not affect ted by the PDP-favoured ruling, he could not be an alleged contemnor, “…without prior leave of court being granted to commence contempt proceedings against” him.
PDP lawyer, Oluyede, differed. He said the contempt proceedings did not emanate from the said ruling, was not an interlocutory order, and so can be discontinued without consequences. Oluyede added that it was their right to either discontinue or withdraw the applications, particularly in a criminal case without seeking the leave of court to do so.