Convention: PDP group accuses Adoke’s screening committee of scandal, double standard

Some members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under the umbrella of Southwest PDP Liberation Vanguard has accused the party’s committee charged with the screening of candidates for the forthcoming national convention of the party of scandal and double standard.

The group, in a statement signed by Ayodele Olatunde and Christopher Oluwagbenga, said on Saturday that most of the reasons and excuses given by the party’s screening committee to disqualify Eddy Olafeso, Professor Adewale Oladipo, Oke Muo-Aroh and Akintan Oludaisi from participating in elections into party offices were illogical, unreasonable, scandalous and full of double standard and deceit.

In a statement titled PDP convention: Why we disqualified four candidates, the PDP panel led by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, said on Saturday that it cleared 27 aspirants for the contest of national offices of the PDP ahead of the party’s convention.

The Panel which also have Eyitayo Jegede, another Senior Advocate of Nigeria as the vice-chairman, said that it barred four aspirants including Dr. Eddy Olafeso, Professor Adewale Oladipo, Oke Muo-Aroh and Akintan Oludaisi from participating in the election and gave explanation below against each of them.

Why four aspirants were disqualified, the panel wrote:

Adewale Abiodun Oladipo

The PDP committee said there was a petition against him which had been established.

a) Undermining the Authority of the National Convention (2016 National Convention) to act as PDP National Secretary after the dissolution of the National Working Committee and the appointment of the National Caretaker Committee.

b) By engaging lawyers on behalf of the PDP without lawful authority, thereby exposing the party to inappropriate financial liabilities and court actions.

All these are infractions against Section 58 (1) (b), (c), (h), & (j) of the Party’s Constitution (as amended in 2017) which are punishable under Section 59 (1) (e) of the Party’s Constitution.

He is hereby not cleared by the Committee.

Oke Muo-Aroh

Reason: Not cleared for violating the zoning formula. The Committee established that the position of the PDP National Secretary was micro-zoned to Imo State, pursuant to the Principle of Rotation and Zoning of the Party’s offices as prescribed in our Party’s Constitution. The position was micro-zoned to Imo State and he is from Anambra State.

He is hereby not cleared by the Committee.

Olafeso Eddy Eniola

Reason: There were petitions against him.

a) He instituted a legal action against the party, among others, to prevent the National Convention from holding without exhausting the party’s in-house mechanism, contrary to Section 58 (1) (L) and thereby committed a misconduct punishable under Section 59 (1) (a) of the Party’s Constitution as amended in 2017.

b) A notice of discontinuance filed on 15th October, 2021, was an afterthought, because it was filed after the court refused his application for injunction to stop the National Convention.

For these reasons the Committee has not cleared him.

Akintan Oludaisi

Reason: There was a petition against him.

a) He instituted a legal action against the party, among others, to prevent the National Convention from holding without exhausting the Party’s in-house dispute resolution mechanism, contrary to Section 58 (1) (e) of the Party’s Constitution as amended in 2017.

b) A notice of discontinuance filed on 15th October, 2021, was an afterthought, because it was filed after the court refused his application for injunction to stop the PDP National Convention.

But the PDP group, while accusing the committee of double standard said: “How can the committee disqualified Oke Muo-Aroh, a citizen of Anambra State because the position he is vying for has been micro zoned to Imo State. But the same committee cleared Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, the anointed candidate of Governor Seyi Makinde who is from Oyo State and vying for the position of the Deputy National Chairman (South) that was micro zoned to Osun State? What a double standard? What a screening committee indeed?“

”The leadership of our party should also know that Oyinlola also took the party to court when he was ousted illegally as the former National Secretary of the party. This committee cleared him to contest while disqualifying three others for approaching the court to interpret the party’s constitution on the controversy surrounding the tenure of the ousted National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus. Despite the evidence of withdrawal of such a court case by the accused, the party’s screening committee still went ahead to disqualify them.”

”Most of the reasons/excuses are not only illogical but unreasonable, scandalous and full of double standard and deceit. How can you honour a petition from a faceless author and act on it without allowing the accused to defend themselves? No fair hearing and no recommendation from the party’s disciplinary committee? If these shenanigans displayed by some actors pursuing their personal interest persist, doomsday may be the portion of the party and this will end its era in the South West PDP”, the group said.

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