Jimi Lawal, a governorship hopeful of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun state, has been suspended by the party.
Sunday Solarin, secretary of the PDP in Ogun, announced the suspension on Monday in a press conference in Abeokuta, the state capital.
Solarin said four other members — Bola Odunmosun, the financial secretary; Tope Asiru, party chairman of Ijebu north-east LGA; Fasiu Ajadi, and Kola Akinyemi — have also been suspended for violating the party’s constitution by conducting and participating in an “illegal” governorship primary election.
The party’s scribe said the suspension is with immediate effect and will subsist until a disciplinary committee is set up to review their actions.
“All of these shenanigans will be put to bed and we have resolved that the principal actors of the illegal primary election will be exposed. They have been found to have transgressed the laws of the party and their punishment will be given,” he said.
“We were informed that an illegal congress was going to happen today and that history has it as of this afternoon that some people gathered somewhere to carry out an action that is not constitutionally or statutorily assigned to them.
“We have also resolved today that Otunba Jimi Lawal, is also going to be on suspension with immediate effect because he participated actively in a congress not conducted by the state executives of the party, an action which has been found to bring the party into disrepute.
“We must also emphasise the fact that in a house where discipline is missing definitely such a house will not raise good children and they are not going to raise good ambassadors for that family.
“Because PDP is a house that believes in the rule of law, it is a house built by our forefathers, managed by all of us we are not going to open our eyes and allow some dissidence to destroy the house and therefore we must tow the path of discipline by showing them the way.
“So they are suspended for the next one month in which case the disciplinary committee will be set up and they will be invited to come and explain the action they took, the reason why their suspension will not be elongated or the reason why it will not be translated to expulsion.”
The PDP in Ogun is embroiled in an internal crisis that has polarised the party into factions.
TheCable had reported how a federal high court in Abeokuta nullified the parallel governorship primaries conducted by the PDP in the state.
Two factions of the PDP had conducted parallel primaries that produced Oladipupo Adebutu and Segun Sowunmi as candidates of the party for the 2023 governorship election.
The primary that produced Sowunmi, which was held at the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Abeokuta, the state capital, was said to have been monitored by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and members of the Inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria (IPAC).
However, the primary that produced Adebutu, a former member of the house of representatives, was held at the Olusegun Obasanjo presidential library in the state capital.
Lawal, a governorship aspirant, had filed a suit before the court to contest the delegate list that the Sikirulahi Ogundele faction of the party used during the primary which was held at the Olusegun Obasanjo presidential library.
Other candidates had also approached the court to challenge the authenticity of the Sikirulahi Ogundele-led executive of the party in the state.
The court, in nullifying the governorship primary elections, held that it was not conducted in line with the principles of the electoral act.
O.O. Oguntoyinbo, the presiding judge, had ordered that a rerun should be conducted within 14 days.