The battle of which faction is the authentic state executive of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti has been won by the Barrister Gboyega Oguntuase group, that is loyal to Governor Ayodele Fayose.
The development followed the Court of Appeal ruling on Wednesday, which quashed the earlier judgment given by Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Ado Ekiti, affirming Chief Williams Ajayi-led faction as the validly elected state working committee of the party.
In the party state congress which held on March 9, 2017, two parallel executives had emerged. While Oguntuase emerged chairman of one of the factions, Ajayi emerged as chairman for the other factions and both groups had since been laying claim to the chairmanship seat.
A Federal High Court ruling on the matter had declared Ajayi faction, said to be loyal to Senator Buruji Kashamu, who represents Ogun East in the Senate, as the validly elected chairman of the party.
Not satisfied with that judgment, Oguntuase faction had approached the appellate court and prayed it to set aside the judgment of Justice Taiwo which held the Ajayi faction as the state’s authentic executives.
In his appeal through his counsel, Obafemi Adewale; Oguntuase contended that the Federal high Court acted ultra vires by poke-nosing into internal affairs of the party, contrary to a Supreme Court ruling that every party can regulate itself.
In its ruling on the matter, the three-man justices of the Appeal Court, led by Justice Ahmed Belgore, agreed with the position canvassed by the appellant, saying the PDP has the power to regulate itself.
According to Belgore, the lower court failed to take into cognizance the Supreme Court judgment which had earlier described the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee to superintend over the party for over a year as a legal and legitimate body.