A Lagos Federal High Court has ordered the Ogun State chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC to conduct fresh congress in Coker ward 10 under Ifo local government area of the state for election of new ward executive following the report that the last ward election was inconclusive.
The court also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, The Nigeria Police and All Progressives Congress in Ogun State to recognize and deal only with winners of May 5, 2018 Congress in Ifo Ward 1, 2,3 and 11.
This was contained in a copy of the judgement made available to newsmen in Abeokuta on Tuesday.
The suit was filed by some aggrieved members of the party in the Federal High Court, Abeokuta, but, was transferred to Lagos court for adjudication during the vacation.
The appellants are; Asimiyu Aderibigbe, Tope Lawal, Segun Abolade, Ramon Sodipo, Evangelist Solomon Isola, Evang. Folorunso Ojerinde, Chief Kola Olutola, Hon. Monsuru Akinyele, Alhaji Okesola and Mr. Dare Aninkan on behalf of themselves and other winners of party congress elections in ward 1,2,3 & 11 and contestants in ward 10.
The Presiding Judge, Justice M.S Hassan held that “political parties ought not to act on their own whims and caprices as they are regulated under the constitution and the Electoral act.
Justice Hassan said any act of disobedience to the party rules and the electoral act “constitute an offence punishable upon conviction with a fine”.
The court also held “henceforth all elective and appointive posts in the wards in Ifo 1 State Constituency must be filled through direct or indirect primaries according to Article 20 (ii & iii) of the Party Constitution”.
While reacting to the judgment, a Party Leader in Ifo Constituency 1 and Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo described the judgment as a victory for the rule of law and entrenchment of internal democracy in APC at the grass root level.
According to him,” Our group OSF/SIA original forum has been under political bondage of some leaders in Ifo 1 in the last few years, to the extent that as at today we have no stake in our L.G council/ LCDA, all members of our group in the party have been removed from all Local Government / LCDA services and patronage as if we are no longer part of the Government, they cornered everything the State gave to Ifo and our members don’t benefit.
“Whenever there is any scuffle arising from injustice and cheating between them and our group, they call in the police and refuse out of Police Station settlement until issues go to court, today we have three of such cases initiated by them on – going in Court.
“Just before Congress we called for consensus to select ward executive committee members they refused. They said we can never get nomination forms to contest, just as they did to us during L.G election when they gave forms directly to their anointed candidates and subsequently denied our group access to nomination forms but this time around we find a solution to such undemocratic act and on the day of the Congress we defeated them roundly in Ifo wards 1,2,3,&11.
“While that of Coker ward 10 was inconclusive, surprisingly, some leaders of the party collude with the former State exco members to change the list of the winners to that of the losers in the party Secretariat, when we realized that, we follow the party constitution by writing letters of appeal, including petition by our lawyer to all levels of the party and nobody responded to our complaints, despite receiving the letters and signing, they even threaten that our Oga the Governor has less than one year to spend as Governor and the party will become fully theirs.
“All of a sudden, despite being in the majority we became orphans in our party and because we don’t want to defect from the party, we have to seek for justice in the court of law.
“Now, God has proved himself as the father of the fatherless in Ifo politics and with the Court order that elective and appointive posts must hence forth be filled by direct or indirect primary according to the party constitution, it means a son of nobody can become somebody without knowing anybody and paying obeisance to anybody in Ifo politics”.
He therefore called on all party members that have left in the face of the demoralizing injustice and imposition to please come back and join hands in working together for the success of the party in the next election.
He equally assured the people that Governor Amosun will not take the past and present support of Ifo people for granted by fixing our township roads, complete our Model School and develop our market as he has promised before the next general election.