Tunde Oyekola, Ilorin
A Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin on Wednesday recognised the executive committee of the Ishola Balogun-Fulani faction of the All Progressives Congress in the state.
The faction’s executive was dissolved by the national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, after the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; the state governor, Abdulfattah Ahmed, and others defected from the APC to the Peoples Democratic Party.
In a judgment read by Justice T.S. Umar, the court held that the purported dissolution of the executive committee of the APC led by Balogun-Fulani was illegal, null and void.
The court further held that the Independent National Electoral Commission should recognise the list of members of the executive committee presented by the Balogun-Fulani faction.
Speaking to journalists after the judgment, counsel for the Ishola-Balogun faction, Mr. Abdulazees, said the effect of the judgment was that the court had recognised candidates of the Balogun-Fulani faction of the APC, “since it is the authentic executive committee of the state.”
Counsel for the Bashir Bolarinwa faction of the party, Kamaldeen Gambari, however said the court acted contrary to the facts placed before it.
Gambari said he had already filed an appeal against the judgment, expressing the hope that the Appeal Court would upturn the judgment.
Meanwhile, Balogun-Fulani has called on Oshiomhole to immediately forward the names of candidates that emerged through the faction’s primary election to INEC.
During a press conference at the party’s secretariat after the judgment, he described the court’s verdict as victory for democracy and the judiciary.
He said, “I am grateful to the national chairman for saying that he would abide by court order.
“I want to appeal to him to submit the names of our governorship candidate, Alhaji Kayode Omotose; the deputy governorship candidate, Olorunfemi Adeoye; and other candidates who emerged through the primary election conducted by us to INEC as the APC candidates for the general elections that are coming up next year.
“I also want to appeal to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, to inaugurate Tinuoye Olatayo as the winner of the election in Ekiti/Oke-Ero/Irepodun/Isin Federal Constituency.”