A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State, Barr. Hazeem Gbolarumi, has dragged the party to court over its decision to hand over the Oyo South senatorial ticket to Dr Kola Balogun who just returned to the party.
The case will be heard on Tuesday at the Federal High Court, Ibadan.
Although Gbolarumi, who is a former deputy governor in the state, came second in the primary election for the ticket, he is asking the court to declare him the authentic candidate since the winner of the ticket, Mr Bayo Lawal, surrendered the ticket to Balogun after he was reportedy prevailed upon by the party’s governorship candidate, Seyi Makinde.
Gbolarumi said his prayers are in line with the party’s constitution and the Electoral Act.
Gbolarumi also claimed that Dr Balogun, a former Commissioner for Trade, Investments and Cooperatives, is still a member of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) being one of the 12 governorship aspirants that dragged the party and its leaders in Oyo State to court over the manner in which Sen. Olufemi Lanlehin emerged as the party’s governorship candidate.
Besides, Gbolarumi stated that the party did not offer Balogun a waiver to contest having just joined the party. He said the party’s constitution and the Act provide that aspirants must have been members of a party for minimum of six months before they can contest for electoral positions unless they were giving waivers by the party. According to him, Balogun did not get a waiver.
A source close to Gbolarumi disclosed that the former deputy governor was determined to retrieve his mandate because he believes that Makinde deliberately denied him victory in the primary by raising Bayo Lawal, who he claimed was raised mainly to pick the ticket for keeps for another aspirant expected to defect to the PDP after the primaries of other parties.
Another agrieved ADC governorship aspirant, Aderemi Olaniyan, also returned to the PDP and has emerged as Makinde’s running mate. Another ADC aspirant, Mr Sharafadeen Alli has emerged the governorship candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).
Mr Aderemi Olaniyan has been picked as the deputy governorship candidate of the PDP.