There is palpable anxiety in the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) following the Federal High Court ruling which, on Wednesday, compelled the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to publish the personal particulars of the party’s governorship candidate, Agboola Ajayi, Weetalknaija Daily Post report
Besides, the Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, and his Sokoto State counterpart, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, are expected to meet the former governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, in what a source has described as “last minute damage assessment meeting”.
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja and presided over by Justice A. R. Muhammed had granted the application for leave filed by Akure based lawyer, Femi Emmanuel Emodamori, seeking an order of mandamus to compel INEC to publish the personal particulars of the Ondo State deputy governor, Ajayi, as the candidate of the ZLP for the upcoming governorship election.
Emodamori maintained that he had strong evidence that Ajayi had presented fundamental false information, attestations and certificates in his INEC form EC9, the affidavit verifying his personal data and eligibility.
According to the lawyer, INEC has also approved the release of the personal particulars to him, and he is now set to institute an action in court to seek the disqualification of Agboola as the ZLP candidate in line with Section 31(5) & (6) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
A member of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) confided in our correspondent that the duo of Makinde and Tambuwal had already spoken to Mimiko immediately after the court ruling on the need for them to forge a last minute alliance to back Jegede.
The source said the meeting was directed by the national leadership just as the PDP saw the court ruling as another opportunity to bring Mimiko on board in the battle to unseat the APC led government of Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
“Honestly, the court ruling really jolted them (ZLP) because these days, you don’t underrate the possible negative effects of any judicial process instituted against any governorship aspirant.
“Mind you, there is another such legal battle filed by another lawyer who is a member of our party against the deputy governor; and in the politics of nowadays, the judiciary has become a decider.
“And with the cases of David Lyon and even Oshiomhole who despised the court process initiated to unseat them still fresh in our memory, it appears the former governor has also caved in to the last minute safe assessment meeting because if he does not and the court strikes unexpectedly, it is the APC that will benefit from the mess.
“I have been told that the national leader of ZLP, Mimiko, has been contacted by both governors on the need for the meeting so as to bring our candidate to him to possibly apologise publicly in order to get his support to unseat the APC in that state. We won’t take chances at all,” the source said.
Meanwhile, two key aides of Ajayi, the ZLP candidate, have dumped him for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last 24 hours, an incident which many stakeholders believe is a major setback for his governorship ambition.
While Yemi Akintomide, a media aide to Ajayi, resigned his appointment on Wednesday, Miss Dighitoi Feku, a prominent grassroots women mobiliser in Ese-Odo Local Government Area, also dumped the ZLP barely 48 hours after her unveiling as a member of the Campaign Council of the party.
Aside from dumping the ZLP, the Arogbo-Ijaw born businesswoman donated campaign materials to the APC which were presented to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu at the Government House, Alagbaka-Akure.
She was accompanied to the Government House by the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, and another APC chieftain, hi Raphael Ajaga Ojubulu.
Dighitoi was, until her defection to the APC, Secreta
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