A Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate in Ogun State has alleged a plot by some leaders of the party to scheme him out of the elections.
Semiu Oganla, who is the PDP House of Assembly candidate in Abeokuta North Local Government Area, said despite winning the party’s primaries and being listed as candidate, there is a plot to snatch the ticket from him.
After polling 70 of the total 80 votes, Mr. Oganla on November 29, 2014 defeated other aspirants to emerge the PDP candidate. Other aspirants included Olugbenga Adebayo who scored 8 votes, and Eyitayo Soleye who polled 1 vote.
Mr. Oganla was subsequently listed by the electoral commission, INEC, to be his party’s flagbearer for the February 28 elections which was postponed to April 11.
However, few weeks to the new date, the PDP filed a suit claiming it made typographical errors in the candidates’ list it submitted INEC. The party sought an order from the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, to replace Mr. Oganla’s name with that of one of the losers, Mr. Soleye, who is a son of a former Minister for Finance, Onaolapo Soleye.
The party’s application, with suit number FHC/L/CS/347/12, is being presided by Justice O. Abang.
In the motion, the Ogun PDP sought, “An order correcting the typographical error in the names of candidate listed in the order of this honourable court made on the 15th day of December 2014 by properly stating the names of candidates for the constituencies listed below as shown hereunder and deleting the names mistakenly listed for the same constituencies in the said order to wit;…(11) Eyitayo Soleye replacing Semiu Oganla for Abeokuta North)”.
The motion on notice was filed on January 28 by R. Oluyede of D96 Landbridge Avenue, Victoria Island Annex, Lagos.
Also, an affidavit filed by Chinedu Mbata, a litigation officer, in support of the motion on notice said the Ogun PDP Secretary, Semiu Sodipo, erroneously forwarded the name of the candidate.
“In the haste to send the result sheets and reports to our office in view of the urgency involved, he inadvertently sent a report of primaries for the House of Representatives, which contained an error in the name of the candidate of the party for Abeokuta North/Odeda/Obafemi-Owode constituency.
“He also made a mistake in wrongly forwarding to our office an incorrect results of primaries for Remo North and Abeokuta North State Constituencies,” the affidavit stated.
Mr. Oganla, however, says the suit is a ploy to deprive him of his candidacy.
In a petition to INEC, the candidate stated that, “Some unscrupulous elements within the party are crookedly planning to short change me by trying to substitute my name to one Eyitayo Soleye, their favourite, under the guise that my name was typographically in error forwarded to INEC.
He alleged that there was an earlier attempt to forge his signature on a withdrawal letter, to indicate he was pulling out of the race.
The candidate said he would not succumb to any plot to deprive him of his mandate.
Efforts to get the party secretary, Mr. Sodipo, and chairman, Bayo Dayo, to react to the allegations and court case were unsuccessful as both men did not pick their calls or reply text messages.