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Osun APC Ward Congress: Members Demand Nullification In Court

Osun APC Ward Congress: Members Demand Nullification In Cour

All Progressives Congress

A total of 2,517 members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 26 local of Osun State have approached a Federal High Court, sitting in Osogbo to challenge the Ward Congress of the party which was held on July 31, 2021.

The APC members, in a court process on Friday demanded for the cancellation of the Ward Congress conducted by the party through the Gbenga Elegbeleye-led Ward Congress Committee.

Joined in the suit are the APC, Chairman, Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Committee of the party, Governor Mai Mala Buni, Chairman, Ward Congress Appeal Committee in the state, Obed Wadzani, Gbenga Elegbeleye and the Osun chapter of the APC respectively.

The plaintiffs claimed that they are bonafide members of the APC and aspirants in the elective positions in their various wards across the 30 local governments of the state.

They filed the suit for themselves and all other aspirants/ candidates who paid prescribed fees for procurement of nomination forms for the purpose of contesting the APC elective positions during the congress which was supposed to be held on July 31, 2021.

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. 

Faulting the congress, the plaintiffs said they all came to the party secretariat to obtain the nomination forms within the stipulated timeframe, but were told that the forms were not available by administrative staff of the APC. 

According to the plaintiffs, "They resorted to paying individually to the account of the party to obtain the forms when it was apparent that the team sent from the National Secretariat to sell the forms to aspirants in the state was nowhere to be found.  

"We repeatedly visited the party Secretariat, in anticipation of the screening for the ward congress between July 29 and 30, 2021, but were told that there was no screening committee on ground. 

"While at the party secretariat, we read on facebook that the Gbenga Elegbeleye-led Ward Congress Committee had arrived Osun and was addressing the press with some selected stalwarts of the party at the Government House, Osogbo.

"We presented ourselves at their various ward Collation Centres on July 31, 2021, the date scheduled for the Ward Congress, with the belief that the screening and congress would go simultaneously, but neither the screening nor congress took place.

"All eligible members of the APC from their respective wards were present at the ward collation centres, in readiness for screening and congress for elective positions of the party as early as 7am, but to our surprise, some leaders just walked into the venues of the congress and announced that the ward will have consensus candidates and they brought out lists to be read to members."

They averred that they refused to accept the consensus that the various leaders of the party sought to impose on them in their respective wards without the congress or complying with the constitution of the party.  

Upon the refusal of the party and the congress committee to organise a congress in their respective wards across local governments in the state as scheduled, the plaintiffs disclosed that they elected their respective ward officers of the party. 

They maintained that no congress was held by the defendants and neither were any meetings held to their knowledge in which the purported consensus referred to by the various ward leaders in the respective wards was reached. 

"The consensus candidates imposed on us by the defendants at their respective ward congresses did not make the required payment for the nomination forms for the elective positions and hence cannot be recognised as valid candidates."

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.

They also want the court to declare that act of buying and hoarding forms by way of bulk purchase from the National Secretariat of the APC and hoarding sale as to deny them the opportunity to contest for elective positions in their respective wards in the ward congress are illegal and ultra vires.

Their further prayers are: “A declaration that the ward congress of the 1st defendants, Osun State Chapter, allegedly conducted by the ward congress committee headed by Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye on the 31st day of July, 2021, was illegal, null and void and ultra vires; the powers of the 1st-5th defendants for contravening the guidelines for ward congresses, 2021 and the constitution of the 1st defendant’s party.


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