Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the former governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, of allegedly arm-twisted the party over the sale of the new secretariat built by the party.
Speaking with journalists in Ado-Ekiti yesterday, PDP State Chairman, Barr Gboyega Oguntuase, said it sounded malicious, condemnable and libellous for Fayose to have claimed that the State Working Committee was carried along before the property was sold.
Oguntuase also added that the former governor had the privilege to convene a meeting of party members as a leader, insisting that what made such action inimical was sidetracking the party in dealing with such issue, particularly the State Working Committee.
Fayose had last week convened a meeting of party members in Afao-Ekiti, where he said the new Secretariat built along Ajilosun area of the capital city was sold with the consent of the State Working Committee.
Responding to the statement, Oguntuase said: “At the meeting, Fayose said or alleged that the secretariat of the party has been sold with the knowledge of the party chairman and members of the State Working Committee. With due respect to his person, we considered the statement as misleading, malicious, and condemnable.”
“We would have called it outright falsehood, but for the sake of modesty and for the future peace of this party, we will not use this language. What he said that we sold the property in collaboration with him, is cruel, untrue and slanderous.
“I believe that by that statement he has committed libel on a high scale. To the best of my knowledge as chairman of the party, and to the knowledge of many State Working Committee members, we have not sold the secretariat. I want to tell you that any document that says it has been sold is absolute falsehood. It is true he approached me to sign a document, but I told him, it was going to be a disservice to the party.
“I still stand by that. Those who are claiming to be Fayose’s can’t be more Fayose than us. But we know where to draw the line of respect for party leaders, and the truth and godliness.
“I told him I can’t sign and I did not sign. God of heaven knows that that was exactly what transpired in his house. He even asked me what I want to take and I told him I can’t take such a sacrilegious offering.
“Our property if it has been sold via fraud shall be recovered via thorough legal action that will be taken by this party. We have received assurances from loyal party leaders that they are with us. If they have put somebody’s signature, it must have been signature got through another transaction to have an appearance of legality.
“It is trite in law that the expression of your mind is germane to the making of any document. My mind never signed, the action of signing was not done by me. And I can’t sign a document that I don’t know the buyer. I never met the buyer,” he alleged.
On the claim by Fayose that the property was sold at a foundation level, Oguntuase said “but we monitored the construction up to the second and third floor.”
“So, it is untrue that we have sold the property and if the governor has done it, he should retrace his step and surrender the document to the party. Up till now, all the documents are with Fayose. If we have sold the property, the document will be in our custody,” he added.
Fayose, in his response through his Media Aide, Lere Olayinka, said: “We are not going to join issues with anybody on that matter or any other matter concerning the party.”
But Fayose had during the meeting summoned at his instance said he could not have arrogated the property to himself considering his position as a leader and financially comfortable person.
“I am not a pauper. God has really blessed me, so why should I arrogate property belonging to a party I built with my own hands to myself? This is not true and I can’t do that,” he said.