The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has warned Prince Dotun Babayemi to stop further legal action against the Governor-elect, Sen. Ademola Adeleke, in the overall interest of the party.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Babayemi contested in the PDP primary in Osun that produced Adeleke as its candidate for the July 16 election.
Adeleke later in the governorship election defeated the incumbent, Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress.
The warning is contained in a statement signed by the caretaker Chairman of the PDP in Osun, Dr Akindele Adekunle, on Sunday in Osogbo.
The party, in the statement, specifically frowned at “apparent attempt by the former aspirant to become a tool of the APC to truncate the overwhelming victory of PDP at the governorship poll’’.
It described as worrisome Babayemi’s refusal to listen to calls by elders of his group who urged him to discontinue legal challenge of the PDP primary in Osun.
“While the aspirant had filed several cases and failed to upturn due process decision of the party, the party noted that the last ruling of the Court of Appeal should put paid to further litigation on the primary.
“Any decision to pursue the issue further will smack of open anti-party activity and a direct disrespect for the people of Osun state who voted massively for Sen. Ademola Adeleke,’’ it said.
The party described as a very dangerous and self-destructive dimension the alleged collaboration between Babayemi and the APC to continue the case, affirming that such evil alliance would end in further legal defeat.
“From the beginning of the litigation to date, it was obvious the aspirant was only holding unto straws as the primary that produced Sen. Adeleke fulfilled all extant regulations and legal requirements in line with the Electoral Act among others,” the statement read in part.
NAN reports that the PDP in Osun had on March 8 held two parallel governorship primary elections in the state.
In one of the primaries held at the Osogbo City Stadium, under the supervision of Deputy Governor of Bayelsa, Mr Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, as Chairman, Sen. Ademola Adeleke was declared the winner.
However, the other primary held at the Women and Children Development Initiative Foundation (WOCDIF) Centre, Osogbo, produced Prince Dotun Babayemi as the winner.
In a list of candidates later released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Adeleke emerged as the flag bearer of the PDP.
Babayemi, however, approached the Federal High Court, Osogbo, challenging the PDP’s nomination and submission of Adeleke’s name to INEC and the validity of the governorship primary conducted at the stadium.
The case was, however, dismissed at the Federal High Court Osogbo, as well as the Appeal Court in Akure.
Adeleke later won the governorship election on July 16 with 403,371 votes to defeat his closet rival, Gov. Gboyega Oyetola, the candidate of the APC, who scored 375,027 votes.
But in a swift reaction, the Babayemi Campaign Organisation said that the redress being sought at the law court was not to truncate the victory of PDP at the recently concluded governorship election, but rather to ensure it translates to good governance.
The campaign organisation in a statement signed by its Director, Oladiran Ojedele, said that Babayemi was out for justice with a view to claiming his mandate.
It said “having explored all internal mechanisms of the party to no avail, the option left as spelt by the party’s constitution is to seek justice through the judiciary.
“Our symbol, Prince Dotun Babayemi, is not seeking to truncate PDP’s victory, but he’s out for justice, seeking to claim his mandate at the law court.
“Is such lawful trajectory out of place? For all those who are now crying wolf, what genuine efforts did they make to ensure the PDP is not exposed to litigation?
“At this point, we want to assure everyone that Prince Dotun Babayemi is a genuine and bonafide member of the PDP who will not, for any price, submerge the wishes of the people.
“He has never pretended on his resolve to always be with and for them”. (NAN)