The All Progressives Congress party ward leaders in Ifaki Ekiti, Ido/Osi Local government have condemned the suspension of the former governor, Segun Oni for alleged anti-party activities.
The leaders of the party in the two wards in his hometown described the suspension as outright illegality and shameful, having allegedly violated the procedure of the party.
Those who signed the statement from the two wards rejecting the party’s position are Michael Durodola, Tayo Okanlawon, Ebenezer Ogunlana, and Sola Ilori.
According to the statement by some leaders of the party on Saturday, they dissociated themselves from the suspension, saying it was an act of disrespect and contempt of the party’s legal framework.
The statement said: “The ward executives’ decision to suspend Segun Oni did not receive the blessing of the generality of Ifaki wards’ APC Leaders. “The concocted allegations were unfounded. Names of those said to have raised allegations of anti-party against Oni were not mentioned, neither were they invited.
“The faceless committee they said they set up did not property invite the former governor. The suspension letter written to the former Governor has no signatories and this rendered it useless.
“With the above, we the entire elders of the APC in the two wards in Ifaki reject this suspension and we urge the party members and the public to discountenance it”, they said.
The party had earlier summoned the former Deputy Chairman (South) to defend himself within seven days, which lapsed on May 1st, against allegation leveled by some party members.
The summon by APC executives in Ifaki 2 was contained in a letter dated April 24, 2019, signed by Ward chairman and Ward Secretary.
The letter reads: “We the executive members of the APC in Ifaki Ward II, hereby request your presence at the Ilero town hall, Ilogbe, Ifaki Ekiti to clear the air about the allegations by members of the APC in your ward.
“Kindly indicate by informing the APC chairman the convenient time and date to appear before members within the next seven days of the reception of this letter”.
The letter of invitation was received on Oni’s behalf by one Segun Adetunji on 25th April; 2019. The party said it took the action over the failure of the party chieftain to appear before the ward executive to clear the allegations.
According to the letter dated May 1st reads:” Subject to Article 21 Subsections I, II and X of the APC constitution 2014 as amended, we undersigned executive members of the APC hereby suspend you indefinitely from our great party, based on your refusal to honour our invitation for investigation and fact-finding into the allegation of anti-party activities leveled against your person by the members of our party.
“We are by the copy of this letter informing both the local government and state working committee of the party for necessary information and action.”
The Ifaki born politician had challenged Fayemi’s victory at the May 12, 2018 governorship primary in which he came second after he had initially congratulated the winner.
The ex-governor, in his suit, claimed that Fayemi was not eligible to stand as the APC flag bearer because he did not resign from office as Minister of Mines and Steel Development 30 days before the shadow election.
Oni also averred in his suit that the White Paper issued by a Judicial Commission of Inquiry raised by former Governor Ayo Fayose indicted Fayemi and barred him from holding public office for ten years.
Prominent party leaders including the state APC Elders’ Forum begged Oni to withdraw the case after the suit was filed at the Federal High Court but the former governor insisted on pursuing the case to a logical conclusion.
But the Supreme Court dismissed Oni’s suit for lack of merit, saying Fayemi didn’t breach the law by resigning after the primary.
Fayemi, in his reaction to the court verdict, extended the olive branch to Oni, with a promise to work with him to move the party forward.
But some party members were said to have insisted Oni needed to be punished for disrespecting the party by declining the Senatorial ticket and went to court to upturn Fayemi’s victory.
In his reaction, the former governor, Segun Oni said he was yet to be notified on his suspension from APC. “I am not sure. There is a structure in the party. There is a way things are done in the party.
“The constitution of the party is clear on cases of suspension. it clearly sites circumstances and outlines procedures to be taken to warrant and effect a suspension.
“If any suspension exists, I need to be notified. And if such circumstances do not exist nor procedures taken in line with the party’s extant laws, then a suspension, invariably does not exist.”
On his failure to heed the invitation of APC Ifaki Ward as conveyed in a letter dated April 24, the former governor queried the pedigree of those behind the said invitation.
“Who are they? I am not a nobody in the party. So I cannot be expected to honour such a faceless invitation.”
“Who are they? What is their pedigree? If a group of rascals signed a letter, how can they expect me to give any thought to such? Let those who wrote the letter show face and levy allegations,” Oni said.