A Lagos based human rights group, Equal Right Advocates has said that it will not hesitate to begin legal battle with the All Progressives Congress (APC) Ogun State if under seven days it fails to return the name of one Olalekan Olaleye Babatunde as the councilorship candidate for Ward 3, Iperu, Ikenne local government for the forthcoming local government elections slated for Saturday July 24.
The petition of the right group signed by Barr. Nojeem Adeoye and dated Monday, July 5 was made available to journalists at Abeokuta, the state capital on Tuesday.
Copies of the petition addressed to the Chairman of APC, Ikenne local government were also said to have been sent to the governor of the state, Prince Dapo Abiodun, his deputy, Engr Mrs Noimot Salako-Oyedele, the Secretary to the state government, Mr Tokunbo Talabi, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt Hon Olakunle Oluomo, the Senior Special Adviser to the governor on politics, Rt. Hon Tunji Egbetokun, one Lekan Osinowo who is being alleged to have been used to replace their client among others.
The right group stated that in accordance with the directive of the leadership of the ruling party in the state, the APC members in Ward 3, Iperu on May 18, 2021 held councilorship primaries for the ward.
It stated further that four aspirants; Hon Lekan Osinowo, Ogunfowora Olanrewaju, Oyeti Oluwafemi and Olalekan Olaleye Babatunde contested the primaries.
The group disclosed that at the end of the exercise, their client, Olalekan Olaleye Babatunde polled 11 votes to defeat his closest rival, Hon Lekan Osinowo who polled seven votes while Ogunfowora Olanrewaju had one vote and Oyeti Oluwafemi nill.
The group explained further that after the winner of the primaries had been announced, the party leaders and the aspirants appended their names and signature to the result bearing Olalekan Olaleye Babatunde as the winner of the primaries and the same was sent to the party for onward transfer to the governor for his comment.
It revealed further that his client as well as the party members at Ward 3, Iperu Remo were however surprised to found out that on June 24 when the list of councilorship candidates from Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) surfaced online, his name had been allegedly substituted for Lekan Osinowo who never won the primaries.
The group said that though, their client had written and even made oral presentation to the governor as well as the party to correct this grave injustice, the party has decided not to lift a finger to help address this sheer illegality.
The right group claimed that the substitution of their client, Olalekan Olaleye Babatunde for Lekan Osinowo was unconstitutional and run against one of the provisions of the ruling party açcording to its 2014 constitution as amended that the party would always respect and protect internal democracy as well as the 2010 Electoral Acts as amended.
The group has therefore threatened that if within seven days the unlawful substitution of their client, Olalekan Olaleye Babatunde was not reversed and allowed to be the APC councilorship candidate for Ward 3, Iperu in the forthcoming local government elections, it would be left with no other choice than to challenge this alleged broad daylight robbery in a competent court of jurisdiction.