It was gathered that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are engaged in a war of words on the visit of Ondo State governor, Olusegun Mimiko, to the presidential villa last Friday.
The visit came as crisis erupted in Akure, the state capital, over the substation of the name of Eyitayo Jegede with that of Jimoh Ibrahim, as the candidate of the ruling PDP for the November 26 governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The APC described the visit by Mimiko as mischievous and a calculated attempt to cover his self-inflicted crisis in the state.
The PDP, on its part, accused the APC -led federal government and judiciary of plotting to edge out Jegede from the November election.
The party insisted Mimiko’s visit to the villa was to forewarn the president of the confusion the decision of INEC to remove Jegede’s name can cause.
The APC, in a statement by its spokesman in Ondo, Omo’ba Abayomi Adesanya, said: “Has Governor Mimiko gone to complain to President Buhari as the leader of PDP? Now, if he has gone to complain to the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (GCFR)?
“What does he (Mimiko) want the President to do against INEC and the courts that ordered INEC to recognize Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim as the authentic PDP governorship candidate in the 2016 November 26th election?
“Is Mimiko portraying the president is the one directing and controlling INEC and Courts by going to report to him( the President)?
“When has the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria become the appellate Court to the High Courts, that he(Mimiko) has to report to him, on a matter already ruled-on and decided by court of competent jurisdiction?
“If his godson’s (Eyitayo’s) lawyers have already filed an appeal before the Appeal Court, is he (Mimiko) making Mr. President a coordinate appellate jurisdiction?”
But the PDP chairman in the state, Clement Faboyede, while addressing the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo, during a protest at the Monarch’s palace yesterday, insisted the APC-led federal government and judiciary was attempting to rig out PDP in the coming election.
The embattled chairman said no court can change or impose candidate on any political party in the country.
The party boss said Mimiko should be praised for taking the matter to the President.
He accused those saying otherwise of promoting violence in the state.
“We want to make you a point of contact to inform all traditional rulers in the state to rise against this injustice and we want you to help us call on the federal government to instruct the INEC not to set Ondo State on fire.
“We are loving people and peaceful but we are politicians. Ondo and Ekiti people do not like to be cheated because we do not cheat people.
“We don’t want the 1983 crisis to repeat itself again. We believe you can save us because Jegede emerged through a constitutional process and we will not accept or succumb to anyone to get a justice through back door.
“Jimoh Ibrahim is not a member of PDP; he has defected to Accord Party (AP) and no court can impose any candidate on any political party.
“We will accept the outcome of the result of the November 26, poll but we will be against any move to stop our candidate.
“Buhari should be vigilant of overzealousness of some of his ministers and he should remember that we Ondo State people voted for him against our party’s candidate during the 2015 general elections,” Faboyede said.
The Deji of Akure called on Buhari to intervene in the crisis arising from the clearance of Jimoh Ibrahim as Ondo state governorship candidate.
He said the non clearance of Eyitayo Jegede by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) according to court orders, was generating protest.
He also urged the INEC not to take side and to correct any mistake they might have made.
“The judiciary should also intervene and make sure that all parties get justice because we don’t want any injustice in Ondo State,” he said.
The Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also faulted the June 24, 2016 judgement and October 14, 2016 post-judgment order.
It also queried the professional conduct of the lawyers engaged by the Sheriff faction in the process leading to the judgment and the post-judgment order handed out by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The contention of the Makarfi committee is contained in a counter-affidavit filed yesterday before the Court of Appeal, Abuja in reaction to an objection filed by the Sheriff faction to the appeals it (Makarfi faction) filed against the June 29 judgment, October 14 order and some other decisions by Justice Abang.
The Makarfi camp stated that the lawyers engaged by Sheriff deliberately hid the suit decided by the lower court from legitimate authorities of the PDP.
It accused the lawyers of acting as both plaintiffs’ and respondents’ lawyers in the case.
The Makarfi group stated that the post-judgment order by Justice Abang was given in “naked exercise” of appeal court’s jurisdiction and was not predicated on any claim placed before him.
It equally stated that the order was made in violation of the PDP’s Constitution as well as innumerable decisions of the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, which established that only the National Executive Committee or the National Working Committee of a party that could nominate a candidate and not its state executive.
The counter-affidavit was deposed to by Dolapo Kehinde, a lawyer in the law firm of one of the lawyers to the Makarfi faction, Ahmed Raji (SAN).