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PDP expels Jimi Lawal, others in Ogun

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Mr Lawal’ and his group allegedly conducted an illegal primary election in the state.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State has expelled a governorship aspirant of the party, Jimi Lawal, for alleged gross misconduct, forgery, anti-party activities, and violation of the party’s constitution.

Mr Lawal’s expulsion was based on the recommendations of the disciplinary committee set up by the state executive committee of the party which investigated the role of the aspirant and others in the “illegal” governorship primary election organised by his group in the state.

Mr Lawal was expelled alongside three others: Muyiwa Odebiyi, Moruf Olajide, and Ademola Ojoye. Four other members of the party were also suspended.

Mr Lawal and his loyalists had raised an objection and rejected a delegates’ list said to have been brought from the national secretariat of the party during the 25th May governorship primary held in the state which produced Ladi Adebutu as the governorship candidate and Adekunle Akinlade as his running mate.

Three members of the party, Taiwo Idris, Kehinde Akala, and Ayinde Monsuri had sued the party, Mr Adebutu, and INEC before a Federal High Court in Abeokuta, the state capital, challenging the authenticity of the delegates’ lists used for the conduct of the primaries.

Upon the suit, the court nullified all the party primary and ordered a rerun within 14 days.

The party, however, insisted it would not conduct a fresh primary and appealed the judgement.

After the expiration of the 14 days ultimatum, Mr Lawal conducted another primary, an act the party described as illegal. As a result, Mr Lawal and his group were suspended.

On Tuesday, Tola Odulaja, the chairman of the party’s disciplinary committee, announced the expulsion of Mr Lawal and his group

He said their expulsion was in accordance with the party’s constitution.

“Jimi Lawal, the person behind the scene who wants to wreck this party, we recommend his expulsion from the party,” Mr Odulaja said.

The chairman of the party, Sikirulai Ogundele, while ratifying the recommendations of the committee, said the disciplinary actions were carried out without fear or favour and in accordance with the party’s constitution.

He added that the offenders were given a fair hearing, but they failed to appear before the committee after a series of invitations to them.

‘A joke’

But reacting, the Project Director of Jimi Adebisi Lawal Campaign Organization (JALCO), Austin Oniyokor, described the expulsion as “a joke taken too far”.

“How can these people take such a step when the initial illegal act is already a subject of litigation at the Federal High Court, Abeokuta; and the parties, including the active participants had been served the court summons?

“As a matter of fact, the matter came up yesterday, Monday, 31st October, 2022 at the Federal High Court, Abeokuta. Definite hearing has been fixed for 30th November 2022.

“Clearly, the purported suspension and illegal expulsion are comical acts taken too far. These steps cannot stand the test of time and the law. These acts are contemptuous of the court which will be set aside sooner than later as in the case of Amaechi v. INEC & Ors. (No. 1) (2007) 18 NWLR (Pt. 1065) 42.

“We implore all our long-standing delegates, leaders, elders, and stakeholders of the party to remain calm. All these shenanigans are no more than a storm in a teacup. It is will soon fizzle out,” Mr Oniyokor said.
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