By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – No fewer than 2,300 delegates will converge on Akure, the Ondo State capital, today to elect the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Eight aspirants are competing for the ticket. They are Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi, who recently defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC), Southwest Zonal Leader Dr. Eddy Olafeso, former Commissioner for the Environment Sola Ebiseeni, former federal legislator Bode Ayorinde, former Justice Commissioner Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), Senator Boluwaji Kunlere, Godday Erewa, and Banji Okunowo.
The opposition party has been gripped by tension over complaints about alleged manipulation of delegates’ list and monetization of the process by one of the aspirants.
On Tuesday, an Akure High Court struck out a motion seeking to stop Ajayi from participating at the primary.
The presiding Judge, Justice Bode Adegbehingbe, asked the plaintiff to serve all parties in the suit instead of coming through an motion exparte.
A member of the PDP, Mr Olopele Konstante Timi, had through his counsel, Akpofiweii Anthony, asked the court to disqualify Ajayi over allegation that his certificate was forged.
Olopele, in the suit, said Ajayi breached the code of conduct for public officers and should therefore, be banned from holding any public office for a maximum period of 10 years going forward.
The exparte motion brought before the court was instituted with an originating summon that was dated July 17, 2020, with suit no. AK/45M/2020.
Olopele said Ajayi had consistently acted in breach of Section 1, 5th Schedule, Part 1 of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers as well as breach of the provisions of the regulations of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) Act, Cap W4 Law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004.
Justice Adegbehingbe threw out the motion exparte and fixed the hearing of the substantive suit on July 30, 2020.
Ajayi had through his Media Adviser, Allen Sowore, said the facts and issues in the suit were the same as the case already adjudicated upon by the Court of Appeal in case appeal number: CA/B/EPT/330A/2008. between himself and Prince Olubukola Ebietomiye of the Democratic People’s Alliance, (DPA) in 2007, wherein he was absolved of any wrong doing.
But, Ondo State PDP youth called on the National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus and the Commissioner of Police, Salami Bolaji, to caution Ajayi against causing chaos at the primary.
The youths alleged that Ajayi had mobilised ex-militants, some All Progressives Congress (APC) member and illegal delegates to Akure.
Speaking under the auspices of Democratic Reformation Force (DRF), the Coordinator, Prince Ojo Olatunji, said Ajayi intended to induce members of the electoral committee for the accreditation of eligible voters with huge amount of money so that they would use his own manufactured register for accreditation.
Prince Olatunji urged Secondus to call Ajayi to order to avert unnecessary crises in Ondo PDP.
He said: “Seven governorship aspirants of the PDP, State Caretaker Committee led by Clement Faboyede, members of the Board of Trustees of the PDP in Ondo State, coupled with the Elders Council had unanimously raised an alarm recently that one of the aspirant allegedly bribed Kingsley Chinda led committee to doctor the delegate list, thereby leading to the reversal of the doctored list by the NWC of the Party.”
He added: “Ajayi has decided to produce a register with delegates names across the various wards of Ondo State which he intends to give members of the committee that will be at the gate for accreditation. Already, some of the fake delegates are being mobilized to Akure, the state capital”, the group added.
“We also call on the PDP primary electoral committee led by His Excellency Ifeanyi Ugwanyi to be aware of this new plan by Ajayi; and we appeal to him to warn all the members of his panel not to compromise themselves because the consequences of being compromised will be severe.”
“We also call on the Commissioner of Police in Ondo State and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to warn Agboola Ajayi not to create unrest in Ondo State.”(Nation).