By Kazeem Badmus
HEARING on the case instituted by 2,517 members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in 26 local governments of the State of Osun to challenge the Ward Congress of the party, held on July 31, 2021 in the state, will resume today (Friday) at the Federal High Court, Osogbo.
The case which came up on Monday was adjourned till today to allow the National Secretariat of the APC and the Chairman of the Caretaker and Extra Ordinary Convention Committee of the party, Governor Mai Mala Buni respond to the plaintiffs’ objection to their preliminary objection.
It would that the respondents had challenged the jurisdiction of the court on the case through a preliminary objection.
The plaintiffs also filed a response to the preliminary objection which needed a counter reply from the respondents.
But when the case came up on Monday, Buni and the APC national secretariat had not filed their response, forcing the court to adjourn the case till today.
Before the adjournment, counsel to the plaintiffs, Mahmud Adesina, SAN, expressed his worries on the delay on the case, saying that it has to do with governorship primary of the party coming up on March 5.
Justice Emmanuel Ayoola promised to ensure that the case is concluded before the gubernatorial primary of the party.
The respondents, in what seems to be a delay tactics, had earlier evaded notice of court process on the matter before the court granted the plaintiffs’ prayer for substituted means.
The APC members are demanding for the cancellation of the Ward Congress conducted by the party through Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye led committee.
According to the plaintiffs, they were wrongly excluded or prevented from participating by voting or being voted for in the congress by the party.
They argued that the supposed congress held by the defendants was totally in conflict with the guidelines of the exercise and the spirit of justice and fairness expected of the conduct of such programme.
The plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that all of them and all other aspirants/candidates who individually paid the prescribed fees by the party for the procurement of nomination forms for the ward congress are the only eligible aspirants and emerged unopposed.
APC LG Chairmen Express Optimism
Meanwhile, the APC Chairmen elected under the Salinsile faction of the party have jointly expressed optimism on the positive outcome of the case.
The chairmen, during a special prayer on Tuesday, said they have faith in the judiciary to right the wrong on the congress.
According to the APC Chairman in Osogbo Local Government, Mr. Azeez Adekunle, who doubles as the Chairman of the Chairmen, the delay tactics being employed by the IleriOluwa faction of the party to frustrate the case will not work.
Adekunle said the Salinsile faction has a strong case before the court and will be victorious on it, urging the party members not to lose hope.
He said: “We believe APC will still rule this state and our faction will be authenticated by the law because we were the one who held the real congress.
“The IleriOluwa people are using delay tactics to frustrate smooth hearing of the case, but this will not help them as we believe in Almighty God.”