By Rasaq Ibrahim, Ado Ekiti
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has suspended the Special Adviser to the President on political matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu and ten other big wigs of state chapter over alleged anti-party activities.
The Nation gathered that the suspension followed the recommendation of a ten-member Disciplinary panel led by Hon. Patrick Ajigbolamu.
The committee was set up by the state chapter in line with a directive from the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led National Caretaker Committee, following the refusal of Ojudu and other members to comply with the directive to withdraw pending cases against the party from the court.
The NEC had in its meeting of June 25, 2020 directed that all cases pending in courts should be withdrawn for speedy resolution of internal crises in the party.
Ojudu and his allies had instituted a case challenging the process that produced the party’s exco members at the state, local government and ward level in the state.
Ojudu and his people alleged that the names of those occupying party positions from the ward to the State level were not duly constituted through a legal and recognisable congress in the state.
In a statement signed by the State Publicity Secretary, Ade Ajayi, in Ado Ekiti, on Thursday, the party stated that the disciplinary action was taken against Ojudu and others, for defying NEC.
Others who were suspended alongside Ojudu include: Engr Ayo Ajibade, Hon. Oyetunde Ojo, Hon Femi Adeleye, Bunmi Ogunleye, Akin Akomolafe, Bamigboye Adegoroye, Wole Oluyede, Olusoga Owoeye, Dele Afolabi, and Toyin Oluwasola.
The statement read: “The State Executive Council of the Ekiti State chapter of APC has approved indefinite suspension of the following members with immediate effect from 23rd September, 2020.
“The suspension is based on the recommendation of the investigative/disciplinary committee inaugurated by SEC to investigate the disobedience of certain members to the directive of NEC of 25th June, 2020, which directed members of the party not to institute any court action and to withdraw existing cases in courts.
“The decision of SEC has been communicated to the Caretaker/extra ordinary convention planning committee of the party.”
Reacting to his suspension, Senator Ojudu said the action of the party was a nullity and of no consequences, saying the party’s SWC lacks the power to suspend any member.
“Let it be said that the only organ of the party that can try and suspend a member is the Ward. What they have done is clearly illegal. I remain a member of APC and a committed one at that. I am not like them traitors who claim to be APC and go work for PDP in Oyo and Edo”.
Ojudu and affected other members had on Tuesday through their lawyer, A. A. Adeniyi, asked the court to restrain the party from probing, setting machinery in motion for their suspension or expulsion pending the determination of the substantive case.
They argued that the decision of the Ekiti APC to set up a disciplinary committee to begin suspension or expulsion process was contemptuous of the existing case pending in court.
Ojudu and others in a statement entitled: ‘Before our impending expulsion from APC’, by the group’s spokesperson, Prince Bamgboye Adegoroye, on Wednesday, said the party would crumble in Ekiti, if they are expelled as being allegedly hatched by Fayemi.
“We are therefore calling our national leadership to stop Dr Kayode Fayemi from killing our party in Ekiti. Things are bad enough now for the party in the state. Allowing him to carry out our expulsion will only spell doom for our beloved APC.
“Those to be tried and possibly expelled are former Senators ,former members of House of Representatives, former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, a number of aspirants who contested against him and notable leaders of the party in the state.”
Adegoroye alleged that Fayemi decided to clip their wings because they exhibited bravery and stood up against poor governance and government of exclusion being experienced in Ekiti.
“We demanded of him the dissolution of the State Working Committee and product of illegality and institution of a legitimate executive in compliance with our party’s constitution. We intimated our party leaders of these concerns; the same problem which was present in his first term that led to our losing the state to PDP with ignominy in year 2014.
“Earlier, he had done same thing to Chief Segun Oni. Oni served our party as Deputy National Chairman without blemish. Thinking that Oni may offer himself to be governor come 2022, he instigated his suspension and stampeded him out of the party.
“We however insist we shall under no circumstance leave the party to join another. We were members of the party from foundation and also members of ACN, a legacy party that joined with others to form APC. We were in the other progressive parties, AD, AC that existed before and transformed to the present party.”