Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
A former All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant for the September 22 election, Mr. Kunle Rasheed Adegoke, has threatened to defect from the party if it fails to set up an Appeal Committee to address his allegation of irregularities in the recent primary election ahead of the poll.
Adegoke also declared that he would abandon the party if the court, where he had filed a suit seeking the nullification of the outcome of the election, fails to do justice to the case.
Adegoke stated this in a chat with Daily Sun in Osogbo, the state capital, on Sunday.
He said his interest in running for the governorship of the state was in the interest of the people but if such passion is being thwarted and frustrated by the leadership of the party by supporting injustice and anomalies in electoral processes, then he would be constrained to quit and move to another party where he could realise not just his ambition, but also the people’s yearnings for good governance.
Adegoke, who is fondly called K-RAD, also insisted that only a court verdict would stop him from pursuing the case he had filed against the outcome of the party’s recent primary election to a logical conclusion.
Adegoke had approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking the nullification of the result of the poll in which Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s Chief of Staff, Gboyega Oyetola, was declared winner and candidate of the party.
He claimed that the election process and the outcome were marred with irregularities, insisting that the election was not free, fair and credible.
“I will be bound by court decisions on the issue, but if I feel that justice is not done by cancelling the result, I may leave the party to seek another platform for my aspiration.”
“I do not have problems with the direct primary option because it is recognised in our constitution. My problem is that the decision not only came late, there was also no verifiable register for members of the party in Osun State.
“There is no ascertained APC party members/strength in Osun State. The party membership registration has never been updated since 2014.
“The tradition has been indirect votes by delegates, which we were all working with until two days to the primaries where we had no time to verify the register.
“The APC constitution which I also participated in drawing has rules on the adoption of direct method of voting in primaries.
“The rules are that the membership register must be verified by aspirants way ahead and must be updated before primaries.’’
Adegoke said that he had tried to reach out to the party’s structure, based on laid down rules for petitions within the party, but without success.
He also recalled that when he wanted to file a petition at the APC secretariat, in Osogbo, the State Working Committee was nowhere to be found.
He continued, “At the Osogbo secretariat of the APC, there was no committee in place to accept my petition and Omo-Agege, who led the primary election committee for Osun State has not responded to my calls,” he said.
“I am a founding member of the APC right from the days of the Alliance for Democracy. I am desirous of remaining a member of the APC.
“I have handled over 50 pro-bono cases for the party nationwide. I love my party but I want justice to be done. Purchasing a nomination form for N8m is not easy for me but I did that.
“All I want is fairness in the process and I will pursue the matter to the highest court of the land if it has to be so,” he added.
He said the primary which was conducted by APC on the July 20, 2018 was in flagrant violation of the constitution of the 1st defendant (APC) and the regulation for the conduct of political party primaries of INEC.
In the suit Adegoke filed, he had sought: “A declaration that, by the provisions of the constitution of the All Progressives Congress 2014 (as amended), article 20(v) thereof, it is ultra vires the 1st defendant to organise, hold and conduct the governorship primary election held on the 20th day of July, 2018 in Osun State without rules and regulations made by its national working committee and duly approved by its national executive committee for the purpose of nomination of candidates through primary elections.
“A Declaration that it is ultra vires the 1st Defendant to hold and organise the Osun State governorship primary election held in Osun State on the 20th day of July, 2018 without having given a prior 21-day notice of its primaries to the Independent National Electoral Commission (the 2nd Defendant) indicating that a direct method of primary election shall be used.”
He then requested an order of the court to nullify the primary and also restrain the 2nd defendant (INEC) from according any recognition to the outcome of the election.