The Ekiti State All Progressives Congress (APC) Elders’ Forum has asked a former governor of the state and a contender for the party’s governorship ticket, Chief Segun Oni, to withdraw a suit he filed in which he is challenging the eligibility of the governor-elect, Dr Kayode Fayemi, to contest the governorship election held in the state on July 14.
The APC elders, who made the appeal in a communique at the end of their meeting at Igbara Odo in Ekiti South West Local Government Area, said they would prefer that the matter be settled out of court “in the interest of the APC family in Ekiti State, in particular and Nigeria in general.”
In the communiqué, signed by the group’s chairman, Chief George Akosile and secretary, Chief Abiodun Ajayi, the APC elders announced that they had resolved to send a five-man delegation to Chief Oni with a letter to formally appeal for the withdrawal of the case.
The elders had met on Wednesday but the communique was made available to newsmen on Friday, in which they also said they would send a memo “to the governor-elect as to reconcile the aggrieved group with a view to withdrawing the case from court and their inclusion in the scheme of things in the forthcoming administration in Ekiti State.”
The APC elders said in the communique: “The Ekiti State APC Elders’ forum at its meeting held on Wednesday, 29th August, 2018 under its chairman, Asiwaju George Akosile, at Igbara-Odo Ekiti, having reviewed the various steps taken by the forum on the above subject matter including the following: Sending of a five-man delegation with a letter to Asiwaju Segun Oni appealing for the withdrawal of the case from the Court;
“Invitation and meeting with the representatives of Asiwaju Segun Oni at Igbara Odo, Ekiti; sending a memo to the governor-elect as to reconcile the aggrieved group with a view to withdrawing the case from court and their inclusion in the scheme of things in the forthcoming administration in Ekiti State.”
They noted that “from our findings, the Elders’ Forum is aware that the case is still pending in the Federal High Court, Abuja. We hereby wish to appeal to Asiwaju Segun Oni and his group to withdraw the case from the Federal High Court, Abuja so as to facilitate an out-of-court settlement in the interest of the APC Family in Ekiti State in particular and Nigeria in general.”
Oni had asked a Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, to nullify Fayemi’s candidacy on grounds that Fayemi did not resign from his position as Minister of Mines and Steel Development, 30 days before the APC primary.
Former Governor Oni had also dragged Dr Fayemi to court on grounds that Fayemi was indicted by an Ekiti State Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by Governor Ayo Fayose and that the commission had banned him from holding a public office for 10 years.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/663/18, Oni, had asked the court to nullify Fayemi’s candidature and the presiding judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, on August 20, ruled in an ex-parte motion brought by the claimant/appellant (Oni) that Fayemi be served the through substituted means.
He had joined Dr Fayemi, the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as defendants/respondents in the case.