Tinubu, Akande Condemn Court Action against Fayemi

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Oni denies filing suit
Ugo Aliogo
The leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South-west have restated their support for the party’s gubernatorial candidate in the July 14 Ekiti State governorship election, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, and condemned a court case allegedly instituted by one of the defeated aspirants of the party in the state, Chief Segun Oni.

This is coming as Oni has denied filing a suit to challenge the emergence of Fayemi, as the party’s flagbearer for the July 14 governorship poll, contrary to reports.
The APC leaders said the decision to support Fayemi was reached through a combination of persuasion, reconciliation, consensus- building and understanding on the part of all the stakeholders, pointing out that they as leaders held several intervention meetings in Abuja, Lagos and Ekiti with all the APC gubernatorial aspirants where they resolved to support whoever emerged from the party’s primaries.

Condemning the court case which they described as spurious, the leaders asked those behind the court action to withdraw their case immediately “if they are within our party and not agents of PDP”.
They also called on Oni to come out publicly to condemn the case and play active role in the APC campaign.

The statement was signed by APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu, former Interim Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande, the newly-elected APC Deputy National Chairman (South), Otunba Niyi Adebayo and the party’s former National Vice Chairman, South-West, Chief Pius Akinyelure.
Titled: “We Stand Behind Kayode Fayemi,” the statement stated that “the decision to support Fayemi was reached through a combination of persuasion, reconciliation, consensus- building and understanding on the part of all the stakeholders”.

“We led several intervention meetings that held in Abuja, Lagos and Ekiti with all the APC Ekiti gubernatorial aspirants where we resolved to support whoever emerges from the May primaries.
“We have stood behind Fayemi’s candidacy since he won the governorship primaries and when we all gathered in Ekiti for the Mega Rally on June 19, it was an emphatic declaration of support for his candidacy. Again on the night of June 19, we as leaders met with all stakeholders including all former aspirants and commended them for not defecting from the party. They all emphasized their commitment and suggested that Fayemi run an effective and inclusive campaign that will ultimately lead to an all-inclusive government,” the statement said..

“For the avoidance of doubt, we the undersigned leaders remain solidly behind the candidacy of Fayemi knowing full well he has fulfilled all necessary requirements for the election as the candidate of our party. We have forged a common front even as we are irrevocably committed to our party’s victory come July 14, 2018. Nothing should be allowed to undermine our party’s victory in the upcoming election.

“We therefore demand that the sponsors of the court action withdraw their case immediately if they are within our party and not agents of PDP. We also request that Oni should also come out publicly to dissociate himself from and condemn the case and play active role in the APC campaign,” the statement explained.

Meanwhile, Oni has denied filing a court action to challenge the emergence of Fayemi, as the party’s flagbearer for the July 14 governorship poll.
The “originating summons” according to TheCable have now been traced to agents of the PDP in Ekiti State.
Fayemi, who polled a total of 941 votes at the primary which held on May 12, defeated Oni, his closest rival, by a margin of over 460 votes.
But in the “originating summons”, the applicants asked the court to determine if it was proper for his opponent to contest the primary without resigning as a member of the federal cabinet.

Oni also purportedly asked the court to determine if Fayemi’s action did not violate the Nigerian constitution and the guidelines of the ruling party primary.
The suit was purportedly filed on his behalf by Gani Faniyi, a lawyer.

The applicants want the court to determine “Whether by virtue of APC constitution and particularly Articles 2 and 5 of APC 2014 Guidelines for the nomination of candidates for public office as applicable to the APC governorship primaries conducted on the May 12, 2018, the 1st defendant being a serving member of the Federal Executive and Federal Minister of Solid Minerals, Mines and Steel Development having not resigned his appointment as a member of Federal Executive Council and Minister of Solid Mineral, Mines and Steel Development, at all or at least 30 days to the said primaries election of 12th May, 2018 was qualified to contest and participate in the said APC governorship primaries of May 12, 2018 as an aspirant in that election”.

“Whether by virtue of APC Constitution and particularly Articles 2 and 5 of All Progressive Congress 2014 Guidelines for the nomination of candidates for public office as applicable to the APC governorship primaries conducted on the May 12, 2018, at Damilek Event Centre, Ado-Ekiti for the purpose of determining or nominating the 2nd defendant candidate for the July 12 Ekiti State governorship election, the 1st defendant having being indicted by the Justice Oyewole Judicial Panel of Enquiry was qualified to contest and participate in the said APC governorship primary of 12th May, 2018 as an aspirant in that election.”

Among the reliefs Oni was purportedly seeking are: “A declaration that the claimant (Oni) having scored 481 votes which is the majority of lawful and valid votes at the 2nd defendant (APC) the 12th May, 2018 A.P.C governorship primaries election for the purpose of determining the 2nd defendant’s candidate for the 14th July 2018 election for the office of Governor Ekiti State is the person that was validly nominated by the 2nd defendant for the 14th July, 2018 election for the office of Governor, Ekiti State.”
Fayemi resigned on May 30 and later appointed Opeyemi Bamidele, a governorship aspirant of the APC, as the director-general of his campaign.