Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, suspended former governor of Ekiti State, Segun Oni, indefinitely for alleged anti-party conduct.
The party said Oni was suspended for challenging Governor Kayode Fayemi’s eligibility in the July 14, 2018 governorship election.
In a letter dated May 1, and addressed to Oni by the party, APC said it took the action because of the former governor’s failure to appear before the ward executive to clear the allegations.
The letter was signed by the Chairman and Secretary of Ifaki Ward II, Shina Akinloye and Ogunyemi Taiwo respectively, and 24 other executive members in the ward.
The APC executive in Ido/Osi Local Aovernment through its Assistant Financial Secretary and Assistant Organising Secretary, Messrs A. Suleiman and Olanrewaju Olamope, also signed the letter.
Apart from being a former governor, Oni also served as the deputy national chairman (South) of the party under the tenure of Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.
The letter entitled: ‘Suspension from All Progressives Congress Ward II, Ifaki Ekiti’, read: “Subject to Article 21 Subsections I, II and X of the APC constitution 2014 as amended, we undersigned executive members of the APC hereby suspend you indefinitely from our great party, based on your refusal to honour our invitation for investigation and fact-finding into the allegation of anti-party activities levelled against your person by the members of our party.
“We are by the copy of this letter informing both the local government and state working committee of the party for necessary information and action.”
The party had, in a letter dated April 24, and signed by the ward executive invited Oni to appear before a panel.
The letter read: “We the executive members of the APC in Ifaki Ward II, hereby request your presence at the Ilero town hall, Ilogbe, Ifaki Ekiti to clear air about the allegations by members of the APC in your ward.
“Kindly indicate by informing the APC chairman the convenient time and date to appear before members within the next seven days of the reception of this letter.”
The letter of invitation was received on Oni’s behalf by one Segun Adetunji on April 25.
Oni had gone to court after the May 26, 2018 APC governorship primary to challenge Governor Fayemi’s eligibility to participate in the election.
Oni said going by the constitution of the party, Fayemi, being a minister in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari ought to have resigned 30 days to the primary.
Fayemi resigned in June 2018 after the primary had been held.
He later won the July 14 governorship election, by defeating the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prof. Kolapo Olusola.
But, the Supreme Court in its judgement dismissed Oni’s suit for lack of merit, saying Oni didn’t file his petition in record time.
Though, Fayemi in his reaction to the court verdict extend olive branch to Oni, with a promise to work with him to move the party forward.
But, some party members were said to have insisted Oni needed to be punished for disrespecting the party, by declining the senatorial ticket and went to court to upturn Fayemi’s victory.
Meanwhile, Oni in his reaction said: “I am not sure of the said suspension. There is a structure in the party. There is a way things are done in the party.”
On his failure to heed the invitation of APC Ifaki Ward as conveyed in a letter dated April 24, the former governor queried the signatories, saying: “Who are they? I am not a nobody in the party. So, I cannot be expected to honour such a faceless invitation.
“Who are they? What is their pedigree? If a group of rascals signed a letter, how can they expect me to give any thought to such. Let those who wrote the letter show face and levy allegations,” Oni said.