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PDP chieftain sues ex-gov Mimiko over party leadership

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THE leadership crisis rocking the Ondo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has taken another turn as a chieftain of the party, Mr Bode Obanla, has sued a former governor of the state, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, over the latter’s leadership position in the party.

Mimiko, a former National Leader of the Zenith Labour Party defected to the PDP recently and has since assumed the leadership of the party.

But some members of the party were not satisfied with the return of the former governor.

Obanla is seeking the order of the court to bar the former governor from assuming the leadership of the party having dumped the PDP for ZLP previously.

The suit filed at the Ondo State High Court, through his lawyers, Messrs Kalu Kalu Agu and Oladimeji Oyesusi, has the National Chairman, Dr Iyochia Ayu, members of the National Working Committee, Ondo State Chairman of the party, Fatai Adams, members of the State Working Committee and the PDP as defendants.

The claimant is seeking a declaration that Mimiko, going by chapter 2, article 17 of the Constitution of the PDP as amended, is an ordinary member of the party.

He also sought “a declaration that Mimiko is not entitled to be accorded the seniority and privileges attendant to his status as a former governor in his membership of Ward Executive Committee, Local Government Executive Committee, State Executive Committee and the National Caucus in that he was not a governor produced by the PDP not having won any governorship election under the party.”

He also sought “an order of perpetual injunction restraining Mimiko from holding out himself or parading himself as a member of the National Executive Committee of the PDP as established in chapter four article 13 (1) and 31(1) (w) of the constitution of the PDP.”

Obanla had pointed out that Mimiko, on December 8, 2006, abandoned his post as Minister for Housing, Lands and Urban Development in the Government of President Olusegun Obasanjo, resigned from the PDP and decamped to Labour Party, under which he contested for the governorship election and won.

However, the court has yet to fix a date for hearing of the suit.

Meanwhile, the state chapter of the party has disowned Obanla for taking Mimiko to court.

The state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Kennedy Peretei, in a statement said, ‘The State Working Committee wishes to state unequivocally that the action of Bode Obanla is a great embarrassment to the party and necessary actions will be taken in due course.”

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