Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The Chairman of All Progressives Congress in Ado-Ekiti Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Hon. Michael Akinleye has filed a suit against the party over an alleged plot to impose former Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, as the Deputy National Chairman (South) of the party.
Akinleye, who claimed to be an aspirant for the coveted position, in the originating summon deposed to by his lawyers, T. J. Omidoyin and Tunde Oke, said his right had been violated and grossly infringed upon by the action taken by the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee.
The APC chieftain stated that he expressed his interest to vie for the position in a letter dated 20th January 2020, which he forwarded to Ekiti APC to nominate him for the position, and this he attached as exhibit.
Apart from Ajimobi and Akinleye, Senator Gbenga Aluko is also contesting for the vacancy and was the preferred candidate from Ekiti APC.
The position became vacant following the appointment of former governor of Ekiti State and the occupier of the position since 2018, Chief Niyi Adebayo, as the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment.
Joined in the suit are the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole (1st respondent), National Working Committee (2nd), National Vice Chairman, South West(3rd), APC South West Zonal Caucus(4th), Ekiti State Chairman of APC (5th), Ekiti State Caucus of APC (6th), All Progressives Congress (7th) and Senator Abiola Ajimobi (8th).
In the originating summon with registration number FHC/AD/C8/8/2020 Taiwo Omidoyin and Tunde Oke filed before the Federal High Court sitting in Ado-Ekiti, Akinleye sought an order restraining the party from nominating Senator Ajimobi or anybody to the vacant position without following the due process and dictate of the APC constitution.
He also asked the court to determine whether Ajimobi’s imposition was not a violation of Articles 17 and 20 of the party, which stipulated that such position can only be filled by a consensus among aspirants or by-elections during congress and convention.
The plaintiff sought an order compelling the party “to follow its constitution, customs, and practices by filling the vacant position with a duly-nominated candidate from Ekiti State to complete the unexpired tenure of four years mandate given to the state through the former occupier of the office, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, who is currently the Minister for Trade, Industry and Investment and not from Oyo State or any other States in Nigeria.”
To this end, the claimant sought an order restraining the South West APC Caucus from forwarding the name of Senator Abiola Ajimobi or any other name to the National Chairman, National Working Committee, to fill the vacant office, having not followed the due process as enshrined in Articles 17 and 20 of APC constitution, pending the determination of the substantive suit.
He also sought an order of the court restraining the National Chairman, National Working Committee and APC from accepting any nomination to the office of the Deputy National Chairman, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit in the case.
An order of the court compelling the National Chairman and National Working Committee to reject and disregard any name sent by the APC Southwest National Vice Chairman, the APC southwest Caucus, to fill the position of the Deputy National Chairman, in the event that any name has already been sent pending the hearing and the determination of the substantive suit in the case.
Akinleye also urged the court to determine “whether the purported nomination of Senator Abiola Ajimobi as the Deputy National Chairman by the party organs and personalities was done in accordance with Article 20 of APC constitution, 2014, as amended.
“Whether the purported nomination of Senator Abiola Ajimobi as the Deputy National Chairman of APC, South, was done in line with the provision of Article 17 of APC Constitution, 2014, as amended, and the established customs and practices of the APC.”
The case has been slated for March 12 for definite hearing, after all the parties have been duly served.
However, the Zonal Publicity Secretary of the party, Hon Karounwi Oladapo, confirmed to newsmen that the zonal caucus of the party and other respondents, had been duly served.