THE PURPORTED SUSPENSION OF DR. OLU AGUNLOYE, THE DEPUTY NATIONAL CHAIRMAN SOUTH: A NULLITY AND AN AFFRONT ON CONSTITUTION OF THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY
The attention of the national leadership of the Social Democratic Party, SDP has been drawn to the mischievous misinformation in the public space that the Deputy National Chairman (South), Dr. Olu Agunloye, has been suspended by a group of party members in Ondo State.
In response to this, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party under the Chairmanship of Prof. Tunde Adeniran OFR, hereby dispels the rumours of any such illegal action and declares that no such decision was ever contemplated or considered. As a matter of fact, at no time was a recommendation for the suspension of Dr. Olu Agunloye received from any quarters by the National Working Committee to warrant such an action against him.
2. The SDP considers and appreciates Dr. Olu Agunloye as a great asset to the party, not only on account of his eminent status as a statesman and patriot, but he is held in high esteem for the invaluable contributions and personal exertions he has been making over the years towards the growth of the party.
3. The NWC of the party hereby declares the purported suspension of Dr. Olu Agunloye as null and void. It also rules that the individuals behind the action not only lack the powers to so do but that neither were the right procedures followed, nor was their action backed by the appropriate authority or organ of the party and therefore has no legal force.
4. For the avoidance of doubt, Article 19 of the Constitution of the Social Democratic Party As Amended (2018), unambiguously spells out the procedures which are to be followed in carrying out the suspension or expulsion of any member at every level, let alone a ranking national officer such as a Deputy National Chairman.
5. According to Sub-section 4 of Article 19 of the Constitution, it is only the National Working Committee (NWC) that has the ‘exclusive powers’ to suspend any member of the party and that the Executive Committee at every level only has the powers to make recommendation for the suspension of any member to a corresponding higher organ of the party; in this case, the National Working Committee.
6. The Ondo State members behind the illegal act failed to comply with the foregoing stated provisions of our Constitution in carrying out their highly reprehensible action. They merely arrogated to themselves the powers that they do not have and, as such, their action in this matter is of no effect.
7. As a highly disciplined political organization, the constitution of the SDP makes it incumbent upon all its members to contribute to its good image by self-discipline, honesty, good conduct and decorum. The few members in Ondo State Chapter of the party who were in cahoots over the alleged ill-advised and illegal suspension of Dr Olu Agunloye acted in flagrant disregard for our Constitution and, by so doing, have caused grievous embarrassment to the party.
8. This issue will be fully investigated and appropriate actions will be taken on the matter, following due process.
9. All members of the SDP family nationwide and the general public are, by this notice, enjoined to completely disregard the alleged suspension as it has no basis.
10. The SDP will continue to work together strongly as a united family, particularly now in Ondo and Edo States where we have done so much work in getting the grounds well-ploughed and cultivated, waiting for harvest in preparation for the scheduled governorship elections.
11. We are also mobilizing in all the other states in preparation for participation in the coming bye-elections.
12. We assure all members that the SDP remains a truly democratic organization that is committed to its ideology and the rule of law; and that their rights will be well-protected at all levels and at all times, irrespective of their status.
Barr. Joe A. Abu
National Legal Adviser
Social Democratic Party, SDP
3 June 2020