By Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Confusion has now gripped the Kwara State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) over an Ilorin High Court judgement on the authentic working committee of the party in the state.
Already, the two factions in the case are still laying claims to the leadership of the party in the state.
Justice T. S Umar had on Wednesday this week said that the dissolution of the APC executives led by Alhaji Ishola Balogun-Fulani, by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party as illegal, null and void. Alhaji Balogun-Fulani, however, at a press conference in Ilorin after the ruling asked the national working committee of the party led by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to recognise all the candidates of his group, including the governorship candidate, Hon. Abdulwahab Omotose as the authentic candidate for the next year general elections. He claimed that his committee duly conducted primaries in which the candidates emerged and duly submitted their lists to the national leadership.
But, the APC in the state, led by Hon. Bashr Bolarinwa at a press conference in Ilorin said that it had filed an appeal against the ruling of Justice Unarmed at the Court of Appeal in Ilorin.
He also said that, it had reported alleged compromise of the judge at the National Judicial Council on the outcome of the ruling at the court.
Hon. Bolarinwa alleged that the conduct of Justice Umar during the trial smacked of compromise. He said, “Since the commencement of the case in July, 2018, Ishola Balogun-Fulani and his cohorts have always boasted to whoever cared to listen that the Kwara state judiciary is in the pocket and full grip and control of one man.
“I wish to intimate you that every conduct of Justice T.S Umar that made the judgment no news has been documented and forwarded by our lawyers to the Chief Judge of Nigeria as the chairman of the National Judicial Council and copied to the chief judge of the state.
“As believers in the rule of law and ability of the judiciary to dispense justice without fear or favour and in the best tradition of incorruptible judiciary, we refused to take their boisterous attitude and utterances as mere psychological ego massaging.
“Alas, the developments that culminated in the judgement and the conduct of T.S Umar in the course of trial have proved to us that our absolute belief in the impartiality and absolute integrity of every judicial officer is grossly misplaced in the instance case.
“It is therefore not surprising that since Friday, when the case was adjourned to Wednesday for judgement, Ishola Balogun-Fulani and his cohorts and their sponsors have been assuring their fellow PDP members that their aim to weaken the train of change in the state will start to materialise as judgement in their favour is a forgone deal and conclusion.
“In fact, in their fertile imagination and day dreaming capacity, they expected that the judgement will enable them interfere with the list and names of APC candidates in Kwara state.
“Let me state that the law is clear on party primaries for election of candidates and no procured judgement of any High Court can change the established position as stated and restated by the apex court in Nigeria.
“Therefore, all our 24 state House of Assembly, six House of Representatives, three senatorial, governorship and presidential
candidates elected at the primaries conducted by the NWC in line with Article 13.4 (v) and (xiv) of the constitution of the party remain the authentic candidates that will fly APC’s flag at the 2019 general elections.”