Lagos PDP candidates sue party, Bode George, others over anti-party activities

Forum of aggrieved Lagos PDP candidates in 2023 General Elections has instituted a suit against some party leaders, including Chief Bode George, former PDP’s Deputy National Chairman, over alleged anti-party activities.

The group comprises 24 candidates who vied for various elective positions.

They are led by Otunba Segun Adewale, the PDP Candidate for Lagos West Senatorial District in 2023 elections.

The suit, filed by the group before a Federal High Court in Lagos, and dated March 26, 2024, is against the PDP (the First Defendant) and six others including George and Sen. Kofoworola Bucknor (BOT members).

Others include  Philip Aivoji, Lagos State PDP Chairman; PDP Lagos State Executive;  Adedeji Doherty, Former Lagos PDP Chairman; and the Lagos State LGA PDP Chairmen Forum.

The case with suit No FHC/L/CS/534/24 was filed on behalf of the group by Omoniyi and Adeleke Law Firm (Primus Chambers) of 15, Alafia Street, Mokola, Ibadan, Oyo State.

The suit read in part: “Our submission is that as a party leader, you cannot be a party leader of two political parties at the same time; hence, you cannot promote candidates of two parties at the same time.

“The principle of first defendant’s political party does not allow its members to belong to any other group or groups that is not governed by its constitution.

“We humbly pray the court holds that considering the evidence exhibited before this court, the activities of the second to seventh defendants constitute party offences that must attract sanctions.

“This is in line with Articles 59 (4) and (5) of the first defendant’s constitution.

“The plaintiffs sought for an order of the court in mandating and directing the first defendant to sanction, specifically expel the second to the seventh defendants from the party for offences and anti party activities.”

Meanwhile, the group at a news conference on Wednesday in Lagos, called on the national leadership of the party to sanction all those that worked against the fortune of the party and its candidates at the 2023 general elections in Lagos.

The leader of the group, Adewale, popularly known as Aeroland, said that the group took the step to further strengthen democracy and ensure that those entrusted with party/public positions were held accountable for their actions and inactions.

According to him, it is demoralising and disheartening for members to spend their hard earned money to buy nomination and expression of interest forms, only for the leaders to work against the candidates during elections.

“We emerged as the candidates of the party in our respective constituencies, and the party duly submitted our names to the INEC as candidates for the elections.

“Having gotten this guarantee from both the national and state arms of our party and upon the release of our names by the INEC to participate in the elections, we went to town to campaign.

“We were buoyed with the belief that we were not alone in the struggle to actualise our dreams, since we have our party structure and party leaders who had sworn to uphold the constitution of the party.

“As the election days drew closer, this belief started disappearing as we started hearing rumours that some key leaders of our party, including the state chairman, were making clandestine moves to work against us,” he said.

Adewale, also a former Lagos PDP Chairman, stated that the alleged leaders did all in flagrant disobedience to the constitution of the party, which they all swore to uphold.

He said that these leaders openly worked for the ruling party, while still superintending over PDP elections.

Adewale disclosed that they had written to the National Leadership of the party in April 2023, complaining about the development.

He said that the group was seeking an explanation as to why the party collected money for forms, “and made us waste our time and resources, only for them to ask the people not to vote for us but we never got any response from them till date.”

According to him, nobody from the party has deemed it fit to call them either for an explanation or even sympathise with them on their loss “though it was engineered by the actors of the party.

He said that apart from instituting a suit to compel the National Working Committee to expel all the actors who openly worked against PDP candidates, the group was also asking the court to compel the party to pay damages.

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“We believe that this case will reshape the behaviour of the leaders of our party as we are determined to leave no stone unturned in ensuring that they bear the consequences of their actions.

“We believe that this suit, though relatively new, will further strengthen our party and give hope to those who will be coming after us,” he said.

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