Ekiti APC crisis: Ojudu, Tinubu’s in-law, 10 others risk suspension
•As party sets up eight-man disciplinary probe committee
•Ojudu describes action as laughable, unconstitutional
The Ekiti State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC), on Monday, set up an eight-man disciplinary committee to probe the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Babafemi Ojudu and 11 others over alleged insubordination and anti-party activities. The committee is headed by former Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Mr. Sola Ajigbolamu, who invited Ojudu and others to answer questions on why they allegedly refused to withdraw cases they instituted in court against the party.
The party expressed worry over the alleged recalcitrant posture of the aggrieved members despite the intervention of President Buhari and the National Executive Council (NEC). Others who were invited alongside Ojudu include Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s in-law, Mr. Oyetunde Ojo, Mr. Ayo Ajibade, Hon. Femi Adeleye, Bunmi Ogunleye, Akin Akomolafe, Bamigboye Adegoroye, Wole Oluyede, Olusoga Owoeye, Dele Afolabi, Toyin Oluwasola, and Ben Oguntuase.
While addressing journalists in Ado-Ekiti on Tuesday, a member of the party’s disciplinary committee and APC’s Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Sam Oluwalana, said the eight-man committee was set up to invite and query them over their hardline posture.
Oluwalana said the party’s NEC on July 25, 2020 directed all members to withdraw all pending cases in courts and urged that they explore internal mechanisms to resolve their differences, which he said forced the party to invoke article 21 of APC’s constitution by way of commencement of suspension procedure against them. According to him, the disciplinary committee has been given 10 days to complete its assignments and report to the National Working Committee for proper action.
“You will recall that on 25 July 2020, the National Executive Council, headed by President Buhari, passed a resolution directing members of the party to withdraw court actions to explore the internal conflict resolution mechanisms of the party,” he said.
“The caretaker committee finds it worrisome that despite the directive of NEC and the subsequent steps taken by the party to ensure compliance, there have been a number of court cases by party members seeking the dissolution of the Caretaker Committee/State Congresses in complete disregard of the directive of NEC.
“The leadership of the party has decided to invoke the provisions of Article 21 of the party constitution against members of the party, who have flouted the directive.”
Oluwalana said the composition of the disciplinary committee was in consonance with the directive given by the Mai Mala Buni-led caretaker committee that each chapter must set up a committee to try alleged erring members.
“Let me clarify here: this is not a suspension but an invitation. We are not here to witch-hunt anybody; all those involved will be given fair hearing. But we are worried that many of our party members have not withdrawn those cases and there must be discipline among our ranks.”
Oluwalana said that APC in Ekiti State merely acted on the letter written by the caretaker committee directing the State Working committee (SWC) to set up disciplinary committee.
The letter read in part, “All state executive committees must set up a disciplinary committee to commence and complete the process of suspension of the above-mentioned members.
“You are expected to forward to the national secretariat all records of the disciplinary proceedings against them, for disobeying the directive of the NEC of July 25, 2020 for ratification”.
However, reacting to the development in a telephone chat, Ojudu described the action as laughable and against the constitution of the party.
“It is laughable and also against the constitution of the party, because the state working committee lacks the power to suspend any member. It is only the ward that can do that. They are setting out on the path of perdition and I wish them good luck.”
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