A new dimension has been introduced to the internal crisis ravaging the Osun State chapter of the All Progressives Congress as the national leadership of the party has dragged former governor of Osun, Rauf Aregbesola and some of his loyalists before a Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo, for allegedly causing faction within the party.
The national leadership of the party, through its counsels, Ayodele Kusamotu, Yemi Akingbade, R. Oloyede and B. Nwayen, asked the court to declare that the former governor cannot validly lead suspended members of the party and other persons associating with them to launch a political factional and parallel group named Omoluabi Progressives within the party.
APC contended that the said launching of a factional political group within the party with the use of the party’s logo, symbol and slogan was considered to have contravened Nigeria’s constitution and that of the party.
The party said that Aregbesola has no constitutional power to launch a factional group within the party and thereby sought an order of the court to proscribe and prohibit the factional group within APC in Osun.
The party also asked the court to restrain Aregbesola and his supporters from further forming any factional group or any parallel association within the party.
This was contained in suit number: FHC/OS/CS/1/2024 filed before an Osogbo Federal High Court.
In the suit, the APC joined Aregbesola and three others including the Independent National Electoral Commission, Hon Rasheed Olalekan Afolabi and Mr Lani Baderinwa, Aregbesola’s loyalist and former Commissioner of Information in the state.
The court process in the originating summons which was dated January 4, 2024, was obtained on Monday.
The plaintiff asked the court to order “That the 2nd Defendant (Aregbesola) cannot validly lead the 3rd-4th defendants (Afolabi and Baderinwa) who are suspended members of the plaintiff or any other person or persons to form a parallel political association or group within a similar or same name of the plaintiff by using the plaintiff’s logo, symbol and slogan without registration with the 1st Defendant (INEC) in compliance with the provisions of section 221 and 222 of the 1999 constitution (as amended) and provisions of section 75(1)(2)(3) and 79(1)(2)(3)(a)(b)(c) of the Electoral Act 2022.
“That 2nd -4th Defendants cannot launch a parallel political or a factional political group or association similar or in a same name of the plaintiff to be holding political meeting with the logo, symbol and slogan of the plaintiff without registration with the 1st Defendant in compliance with the provisions of sections 221 and 222 of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria (as amended) and provisions of sections 75(1)(2)(3) and 79(1)(2)(a)(b)(c) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the 1st Defendant from attending or recognizing or accepting any Congress or convention held or to be held by the 2nd -4th Defendants and any other persons associating with them in their factional and parallel political group or association for the purpose of inaugurating or constituting the Executive Council or Committee of the Plaintiff at any level or nominating candidates for any elective positions under the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) in the name or on the platform of the plaintiff.
“An order prohibiting the illegal factional and parallel association of the 2nd -4 Defendants launched as Omoluabi Progressives (APC) in similar or same name of the plaintiff impersonating the plaintiff’s registered logo, symbol and slogan to function as a political group.
“General damages of (5,000,000.00) Five Million Naira jointly or severally against the 2nd -4th Defendants in favour of the plaintiff.
“Cost of Action at ( 2,000, 000.00) Two Million Naira jointly or severally against the 2nd -4th Defendants in favour of the plaintiff.
“10% Interest on the judgement sum until final liquidation.”
Recall that the immediate past Minister of Interior gad recently launched Omoluabi Progressives within Osun APC and reassured his commitment to the progressive ideals.
Meanwhile, when contacted Baderinwa, one of the loyalists of Aregbesola on the telephone on Monday, he said neither himself nor his politically was aware of the suit.
“We are not aware of such,” he said.
Aregbesola and his caucus had been accused by his successor, former governor Gboyega Oyetola of being partly responsible for his electoral defeat at the 2022 governorship election in Osun State.
However, the Omoluabi caucus had informed Oyetola that the loss he suffered was as a result of his attempt to denigrate Aregbesola before the poll.