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General News of Saturday, 3 September 2022

Source: punchng.com

PDP expels Adeleke’s opponent, Babayemi, cites absenteeism, litigations

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The executives of the Peoples Democratic Party in Otun Balogun Ward 2, Gbongan, Osun State, on Friday, expelled Prince Dotun Babayemi from the party.

Babayemi is currently challenging Senator Ademola Adeleke’s candidacy as the PDP flag-bearer in the July 16 governorship poll before the Supreme Court.

Both an Osogbo Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal, Akure, upheld the PDP primary that produced Adeleke as the authentic one that was organised and supervised by the national leadership of the party.

Justifying his expulsion, the ward executives accused Babayemi and his supporters of holding secret meetings with the All Progressives Congress with the aim of forging an alliance to work against PDP in the July 16 governorship election.

The Ward Secretary, Bukayo Ogunleye, who spoke on behalf of the executives at press briefing in Osogbo, said they received a petition against Babayemi at a meeting held on July 12, and a seven-man disciplinary committee was instituted to investigate the allegations and report back to the executives.

He alleged that despite delivering the invitation from the Disciplinary Committee to Babayemi’s residence, the ex-governorship aspirant refused to appear before the committee within the seven-day ultimatum given to defend himself.

He further said, “Rather than serving as an influencer and a rallying point to all members of the party at ward meetings, Prince Dotun Babayemi had not been attending the ward meetings since October 2021 to date.

“His absence at ward meetings over a long period of time spanning October 2021 to date was perceived as a wrong signal to the members of the party of his indisposition to the unity of the party.

“That Prince Dotun Babayemi’s serial legal litigations against the party were a deliberate ploy to rock the boat and destabilise the party; an anti-party activity which had caused disaffection among party members and deterred PDP sympathisers from identifying with the party in Gbongan.

“The committee viewed Prince Babayemi’s continuous filing of several court cases against the party as an affront and his refusal to withdraw the same despite the intervention of the party’s leadership both at the state and national level as complete disobedience to the party’s lawful directives.

“The Ward Executive Committee of the party at its meeting of 20th July, 2022 received the report of the disciplinary committee, and after careful and extensive deliberations ratified the report of the disciplinary committee.

“The Ward Executive Committee of the party in exercise of the powers conferred on it by sections 57(2) and 59 (1) (g) of the constitution of PDP hereby remove and expel Prince Dotun Babayemi from the Peoples Democratic Party. He, therefore, ceases to be a member of the PDP henceforth.”

Reacting to the development, spokesperson for his campaign organisation, Kayode Oladeji, in a text message said, “Those who carried out the shenanigans they called expulsion of Omooba Dotun Babayemi from the PDP are ignorant of the rules that govern the party; they and their sponsors are only being clever by half in their bid to browbeat Babayemi, a man of the people. They are jesters who enjoy amusing themselves.”

Meanwhile, the election petition tribunal hearing the petition against the victory of the PDP in the July 16 Osun governorship poll on Friday granted Senator Adeleke relief to conduct forensic audit of the data on the Bimodal Voter’s Accreditation System machine used for the election.

Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola and his party, the All Progressives Congress, had dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission, Adeleke and the PDP before the tribunal alleging over-voting in 749 units.

Moving an application at the tribunal, Eze Alala, representing the second respondent, Adeleke, told the panel of his client’s plan to inspect election materials and scan ballot papers used for the election.

Alala, who appeared with Hashim Abioye and M. Omolade, also said Adeleke would also like to carry out a forensic audit of the data on the BVAS machine.

In his ruling, Justice Tertsa Kume, who is the tribunal chairman, flanked by other two members of the panel, granted the application.

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