As the appeal panel set up by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to entertain petitions in respect of the ward congress in Ekiti State concluded its sitting, members of the Southwest Agenda for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu 2023 presidential race, SWAGA, has exuded confidence that the outcome of the congress will be annulled.
The group, which consolidated its petitions and presented the same by its counsel , Barr. Tunji Oso, appeared before the panel and tendered evidence to substantiate the claims that the ward congresses in Ekiti were allegedly vitiated by all manners of anti-democratic practices.
The panel, headed by former Oyo State Deputy Governor, Chief Iyiola Oladokun, and four others, only got a single petition filed by SWAGA members.
A statement in Ado Ekiti, on Saturday, by Gboyega Adeoye, Media Manager to Senator Adedayo Adeyeye, the National Chairman of SWAGA, said the group exposed to the panel how its members were allegedly railroaded to accept the lists compiled by a pro-Kayode Fayemi group called Tokan-Tokan, without recourse to stipulated rules.
Adeoye said: “Some of the discrepancies reeled out by SWAGA were the unilateral selection of ward Congress committee by the governor’s group, without due input from a large number of state’s party stakeholders.
“SWAGA also presented unassailable evidence of denial of forms for some aspiring members of SWAGA to contest in the ward congresses, flagrant distortions of rules and sundry manipulations, skewed to entrench sectional and perpetual grip on the party’s soul by the tokan-tokan’ group”.
Adeoye added that SWAGA also backed its positions with video clips and paper evidence to convince the panel, which he said gave a note of satisfaction after the submissions.
“The panel, reacting to the allegations, expressed satisfaction with the presentation of the SWAGA group but noted that it was manacled by the non appearance of the Ekiti State Ward Congress committee which ought to appear in defence of the claims”, he said
When called via telephone, the Secretary of the Appeal Panel, Hon. Abdullahi Sadiq, said it was true that only one petition was filed in Ekiti.
Sadiq confirmed that the panel had submitted its report to the Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee headed by Governor Mai Mala Buni in Abuja.
“It was like those who had petitions concerning the ward congress consolidated their positions and presented as one petition to us. We listened to them carefully, because our mandate was to give all petitioners fair hearing.
“We had submitted our reports, but I can’t tell you the outcome or what was contained in our reports . It is not within our purview to do that, only the National Caretaker Committee of our party can do that”, he said.
Meanwhile, the APC Caretaker Publicity Secretary in the state, Hon. Ade Ajayi, had always insisted that the State Ward Congress committee, led by Chief Samuel Abejide, was fair to all tendencies in the party, contrary to the position being painted by SWAGA.
Apart from Oladokun and Sadiq, other panel members included Hon Chiedu Eluemunoh, Saratu Sabo and Talatu Nasir.
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