Arguments about the status of ‘The Osun Progressives’ (TOP), a dissenting group within the Osun All Progressive Congress fold, have finally been laid to rest, following the declaration of Prince Gboyega Famodun-led Party as the recognised chapter of APC in Osun State, by the national caretaker Committee of the Party.
This also followed the ruling of a Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo against the cases brought before it by TOP.
It will be recalled that TOP, a splinter group of loyalists to the immediate past governor of Osun and current minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has continued to oppose the activities of the mainstream APC in the State and the government of Mr Adegboyega Oyetola.
This has resulted in several counter-actions by the group, including the conduct of parallel congresses at ward, local government and state levels, while also throwing jabs at the incumbent governor in the media.
Part of the outcomes of the group’s parallel Congress was the production of Rasaq Salinsile as the acclaimed chairman of the Party, which the group petitioned the national secretariat of APC to endorse and a Federal High Court to adjudicate.
Recall that efforts at reconciliation of the group with the mainstream Osun APC by different bodies including the Party’s national reconciliation committee, have met the bricks, as TOP had remained insistent on its demands.
It will also be recalled that Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, recently at the inauguration of a Digital Nigeria Centre (DNC) at the Muslim Grammar School, Ilesa, declared his alliance with “The Osun Progressive”(TOP) being led by a former state chairman of the party, Mr Lowo Adebiyi.
But the national structure of the Party, on Thursday, inaugurated the Famodun-led executives of the Osun APC, declaring it as the recognised chapter of the Party in the State.
This is as a Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo, had earlier on Wednesday dismissed the case brought before it by members of TOP.
The Court ruled that the plaintiffs’ case was not covered by the law thus can not be adjudicated by any competent court of law. Besides, it further held that the case was not properly brought in a representative capacity as those represented were imprecise, nebulous, indescribable and undeterminable.
Recall that about 2,517 aggrieved members of the ruling party who had formed a pressure group within the party known as TOP, had approached the Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo to challenge the legality of the recently conducted Ward Congress held on July 31st, 2021 in the State.
Delivering his ruling on the case, the presiding Judge, Justice Emmanuel Ayoola while giving his ruling said, the suit brought before the court was strictly party affairs and that the court lacks jurisdiction on the matter.
He said, “The claims of the plaintiffs is to draw the court to the internal affairs of the party which is not enshrined in the constitution.
“Supreme Court has said court can’t interfere with the internal issue of party, unless it falls under Section 87(9) of the Electoral Act.
“The plaintiffs are not qualified to be called aspirants in the said congress. Aspirant is someone who participated in election. PDP v Timprale Silva. APC v Marafa. Plaintiff has no status under or right under S. 87(9).
“The fact remains that this matter doesn’t relate to the nomination of any candidate, acordingly, the dispute does not fall under Section 87(8) of Electoral Act and Section 251 of the CFRN. The case of the plantiffs isn’t covered by the law and can’t be adjudicated by the court.”