Saturday, November 15, 2014 12:24 am
Nnamdi Felix / Abuja
A federal High Court siting in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, has foiled attempts by former governor of Oyo state, Adebayo Alao Akala to take control of the Peoples Democratic Party’s executives in the state ahead of the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
The former governor who is aiming to return to the office he lost at the last election in 2011 has been critical of the Yinka Taiwo led executive of the Oyo state chapter of the party and had been working to sack the executive members an install a caretaker committee that will work for the realization of his gubernatorial ambition in 2015.
Presently, 20 aspirants have indicated their interests to contest the forthcoming governorship election in the state on the platform of some of the registered political parties with majority of the aspirants belonging to the People’s Democratic Party.
In fact, 12 of the aspirants are of the PDP stock. Among them are Otumba Adebayo Alao Akala, two former federal ministers; Elder Wole Oyelese and Prof Taoheed Adedoja, immediate chairman if the state’s Universal Basic Education Board; Prof Soji Adejumo, former deputy governor, Alhaji Azeem Gbolarumi, former senate leader, Teslim Folarin, former commissioner for health, Dr. Owolabi Babalola. Others are Engr. Femi Babalola, Alhaji Kehinde Olaosebikan, Nigeria’s Ambassador in Iraq; Alhaji Taofeek Oladejo Arapaja, Ayodele Olabode, Dr. Azeez Popoola Adeduntan and Engr. Seyi Makinde.
As preparations for the election heightened, supporters of the former governor, Alao Akala, petitioned the national chairman of the party seeking the dissolution of the Hon. Yinka Taiwo led executives which he accused of not living up to expectation.
Part of the petition reads, “I want to urgently bring to your attention the fact that the PDP Exco in Oyo state elected on the 17th of March, 2012, under the chairmanship of Hon Akeem Yinka Taiwo, is not living up to expectation at all”.
He also accused the Exco of not carrying elders and stakeholders of the party along and that it is creating divisions inimical to the interest of the party ahead of the 2015 general election and called for the immediate dissolution of the Exco and the inauguration of a caretaker committee after due considerations with leaders of the party in the state, including the former governor.
Following the request for the dissolution of the Exco, the vice chairman of the state Exco, Chief Solomon Oluwole Ogunjimi, dragged the party and the Independent National Election Commission, INEC, before Justice Evoh Stephen Chukwu of a federal high court siting in Abuja asking the court to restrain them from dissolving the state executive committee of the party which was duly elected on the 17th of March, 2012.
He also asked the court to restrain the defendants from recognizing any group other than the state executive committee duly elected at the party’s state congress held on the 17th of March, 2012 in Ibadan, the state capital before the expiration of the four year term of the said state executive committee.
In an enrolled judgment order delivered by Justice Chukwu and issued on 30th October, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent, the court granted the reliefs sought by Chief Ogunjimi and restrained the PDP and INEC from dissolving the Oyo state executive committee which was duly elected on the 17th of March, 2012 at Ibadan before the expiration of it’s term of four years.
It also restrained the defendants from recognizing any group other than the state executive committee duly elected at the party’s state congress held on the 17th of March, 2012 in Ibadan, the state capital before the expiration of the four year term of the said state executive committee.
Furthermore, the court restrained the defendants from conducting any primaries, congress, convention etc, in Oyo state in respect of the State House of Assembly, National Assembly and Governorship elections in any venue except that designated by the state executive committee of the PDP.