The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State controlled by governor Kayode Fayemi, on Tuesday set up an eight-member disciplinary committee saddled with the responsibility of hearing the reasons of the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu; Son-in-law to Bola Tinubu, Oyetunde Ojo; former governorship aspirant, Dr Wole Oluyede and some members of the party were violating the National Executive Committee’s resolution on litigations.
Ojudu and 11 other big wigs of the APC in Ekiti State have been invited to appear before an eight-man disciplinary panel raised by the state chapter of the party.
The twelve APC chieftains are to appear before the eight-man committee within ten days, starting from Wednesday for their failure to withdraw court cases instituted against the party.
Addressing journalists in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday, a member of the disciplinary panel and APC’s Director of Media and Publicity, Sam Oluwalana, said the eight-man committee has been set up to invite and query them over their recalcitrant posture.
Oluwalana said the aggrieved leaders refused to withdraw their cases despite the directive given by the National Executive Committee of the party on July 25, 2020 demanding immediate withdrawal of court cases.
This, he said, forced the party to invoke article 21 of the APC’s constitution by way of commencement of suspension procedure against them.
Ojudu and Oluyede had earlier escaped being suspended as members of their APC Ado Ekiti Ward 8 and Ugele/Arokun Ward in Ikere-Ekiti exonerated them of anti-party activities, saying they had not committed any infraction or anti- party activity that could warrant sanctions.
The executive councils of the two wards at their different emergency meetings passed votes of confidence in the two leaders, stating that they could not be intimidated nor induced to carry out actions that would put the party in disrepute.
The meetings were held in the wake of reports that the SWC of the party was allegedly mandated by Fayemi to ensure that those opposed to him within the party were suspended for alleged anti -party activities.
Oluwalana said the disciplinary panel headed by former Speaker Patrick Ajigbolamu, has been given ten days to complete their assignments and report to the party’s NWC via the SWC for proper action.
Oluwalana stated that “You will recall that on the 25th June, 2020, the NEC passed a resolution directing members of the party not to institute any court action and to withdraw their cases in court in order to explore the internal conflict resolution mechanism of the party”.
He said the party NEC frowned at the complete disregard of the affected members to the resolution hence the directive to the state chapter to “immediately set up a disciplinary committee to commence and complete the process of suspension of the affected members from the party.”
The committee is to complete the assignment in 19 days and forward the proceedings and records to the national body.
The APC director listed the erring members as Presidential Adviser, Senator Babafemi Ojudu; son-in-law to Senator Bola Tinubu, Oyetunde Ojo; former governorship aspirant, Dr Wole Oluyede; Ayo Ajibade; and Femi Adeleye.
Others are Chief Akin Akomolafe; Bamigboye Adegoroye; Olusoga Owoeye; Dele Afolabi; Toyin Oluwasola, Ben Oguntuase, and Bunmi Ogunleye.
But reacting to the move, Ojudu said, “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 to perdition.”
The NEC directive dated September 7, titled ‘Resolution and directive of the NEC on litigation by party members’ and signed by APC Head Legal Service, Dare Oketade, to the state chapter, stated, “You are expected to forward to the National Secretariat all records of the disciplinary proceedings against them for disobeying the directives of the NEC issued on June 25, 2020.
“it is important that all the disciplinary procedures to be undertaken must be consistent with the right to fair hearing as enshrined in the party’s constitution.
Also, note that the state legal adviser is expected to be part of every proceeding to give legal guidance and this exercise is expected to be completed and records sent to the party within 19 days.”