2023: Ogun PDP suspends Jimi Lawal as Segun Sowunmi agrees to support Adebutu

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2023: Ogun PDP suspends Jimi Lawal as Segun Sowunmi agrees to support Adebutu
L-R: Hon Oladipupo ADEBUTU, Otunba Sẹgun SOWUNMI and Hon Adekunle AKINLADE during the reconciliation

Ogun State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has announced the suspension of  Otunba Jimi Adebisi Lawal, one of its governorship aspirants, over his involvement in a court – ordered rerun primary conducted in the state on Monday.

The state PDP suspended Lawal for participating in the said primary conducted by people it described as “dissident members of the party” and who, it added, were acting the script of a 5th columnist.

Other suspended members alongside Lawal were; the state financial Secretary, Bola Odumosu, Ijebu North Local Government chairman of the PDP, Tope Ashiru, Kola Akinyemi and Bashiru Ajadi.

The affected persons were suspended from further participating in any of the party’s activities for a month following alleged overt and covert roles in the illegal Congress conducted in different locations in the state.

The decision to suspend them was reached at the end of the State Working Committee (SWC) meeting of PDP which was chaired by the Acting State Chairman, Chief Taiwo Akinlabi.

According to Daily Crucible, Jimi Lawal was one of the governorship aspirant that contested for the PDP’s governorship ticket about three months ago which Hon Ladi Adebutu won but when Lawal’s camp challenged it at a Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta, the presiding Justice O.O. Oguntoyinbo gave an order nullifying the primary that threw up Adebutu as candidate of PDP .

The Court also ordered a fresh party primary across board within two weeks and directed both the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and PDP not to recognise Ladi Adebutu as a governorship candidate.

Apparently trying to carry out the said order, the suspended persons allegedly organised a primary in the state without authorisation by relevant organs of PDP.

The State Secretary, Sunday Solarin who announced the suspension at the PDP State Secretariat, Abeokuta, the state capital, said Lawal and four others would  face the party’s Disciplinary Committee to determine their innocence or guilt.

Solarin described them as dissidents who were working to continually bring the party into disrepute and frustrate its efforts at wresting power from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state come 2023.

He also disclosed that a factional governorship candidate of the party in the state, Otunba Segun Sowunmi, had met with Adebutu earlier in his country home on Monday, Iperu, where he resolved to team up him and be united ahead of 2023 governorship poll.

. . . Party holds primaries, Lawal, others emerge winners 

Meanwhile, a section of the Ogun state chapter of PDP conducted the court-ordered rerun primaries across the state.

While the governorship rerun election was held at the DLK Event Centre, the National Assembly and State House of Assembly primaries were held in the various constituencies.

At the end of the governorship rerun, Otunba Jimi Adebisi Lawal emerged the gubernatorial candidate with 456 votes.

Announcing the results, the State Financial Secretary, Hon. Bola Odumosu, who led other members of the State Executive Committee to conduct the court-ordered rerun, said a total of 463 delegates were accredited to vote.

Of the number, seven votes were voided. The trio of Honourable Ladi Adebutu, Otunba Segun Sowunmi and Mr. Abodunrin John Abimbola got zero votes.

It would be recalled that the Federal High Court, Abeokuta, had in two judgments delivered on the 27th of September, 2022, in Suit No. FHC/AB/CS/87/22 and Suit No. FHC/AB/CS/83/22, ordered the State Executive Committee of the PDP in Ogun state to conduct fresh primaries within 14-days.

However, the defendants filed an application for stay of execution at the trial court in respect of the two judgments which were determined on Thursday, 13th October, 2022.

While the application in respect in respect of Suit No. FHC/AB/CS/87/22 was dismissed, the one in respect of Suit No. FHC/AB/CS/83/22 was withdrawn by the defendants/applicants (i.e. PDP and Adebutu).

This development Odumosu said paved the way for the State Executive Committee of the party to comply with the court order while the judgment debtors pursue their appeals.

Our suspension, mere weeping of battered adult’ – Jimi Lawal

However, the just elected governorship candidate of the Ogun state chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Otunba Jimi Adebisi Lawal (JAL) has dismissed his purported suspension by the State Working Committee (SWC) of the party as nothing but the weeping of a beaten and battered premature adult.

Otunba Lawal who reacted to the suspension through Austin Oniyokor, his Project Director, Jimi Adebisi Lawal Campaign Organization, said what the SWC did was a case of the voice of Jacob but the hand of Esau.

“To be sure, it is a sad commentary on our democracy and the rule of law that some lawless individuals could gather somewhere under the remote control of one of the aspirants who has just been defeated in the court-ordered governorship rerun to claim to have suspended party stalwarts for complying with subsisting court orders and judgments.

“It is the irony of our political space and system that those who are contemptuous of valid and subsisting judgments and orders of court could turn round to claim that they have suspended law-abiding citizens.

“Clearly, this contemptuous act cannot stand the test of time and the law. All their contemptuous acts will be taken before the court and the full weight of the law will be visited on them in due course.

“Until then, we want to appeal to all our party leaders, elders, supporters and the general public to remain firm in the face of the needless provocation. This political gymnastics will soon pass like others before it”.