The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expelled a former governorship aspirant in Osun State, Prince Dotun Babayemi. The decision was announced by the party’s Otun Balogun Ward 2, Gbongan on Friday, where the politician’s membership originates.
Babayemi has continued to legally challenge the candidacy of the party’s candidate in the state’s 16 July governorship election, Senator Ademola Adeleke.
Adeleke got a total of 403,371 votes to beat the incumbent, Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who got 375,027 votes in a keenly contested race.
According to the total votes recorded by the electoral umpire, the PDP won 17 of the 30 Local Government Areas of the state, while the APC won the remaining 13.
Despite losing the intra-party matter at both the Federal High Court in Osogbo and the Court of Appeal in Akure, Babayemi headed to the Supreme Court to seek the overturning of the decisions.
The lower courts upheld the PDP primary that produced Adeleke as the authentic one that was organised and supervised by the national leadership of the party.
Justifying Babayemi’s expulsion, the ward executives accused him and his supporters of holding secret meetings with the All Progressives Congress (APC) with the aim of forging an alliance to work against PDP in concluded governorship election.
The Ward Secretary, Bukayo Ogunleye, who spoke on behalf of the executives at media briefing in Osogbo, said the party received a petition against Babayemi at a meeting held on 12 July, and a seven-man disciplinary committee was instituted to investigate the allegations and report to the executives.
He alleged that despite delivering the invitation from the Disciplinary Committee to Babayemi’s residence, the ex-governorship aspirant refused to appear before it within the seven-day ultimatum given to defend himself.
Ogunleye further said: “Rather than serving as an influencer and a rallying point to all members of the party at ward meetings, Prince Dotun Babayemi had not been attending the ward meetings since October 2021 to date.
“His absence at ward meetings over a long period of time spanning October 2021 to date was perceived as a wrong signal to the members of the party of his indisposition to the unity of the party.
“That Prince Dotun Babayemi’s serial legal litigations against the party were a deliberate ploy to rock the boat and destabilise the party; an anti-party activity which had caused disaffection among party members and deterred PDP sympathisers from identifying with the party in Gbongan.
“The committee viewed Prince Babayemi’s continuous filing of several court cases against the party as an affront and his refusal to withdraw the same despite the intervention of the party’s leadership both at the state and national level as complete disobedience to the party’s lawful directives.
“The Ward Executive Committee of the party at its meeting of 20th July, 2022 received the report of the disciplinary committee, and after careful and extensive deliberations ratified the report of the disciplinary committee.
“The Ward Executive Committee of the party in exercise of the powers conferred on it by sections 57(2) and 59 (1) (g) of the constitution of PDP hereby remove and expel Prince Dotun Babayemi from the Peoples Democratic Party. He, therefore, ceases to be a member of the PDP henceforth”.
Reacting through a text message, the spokesperson for Babayemi’s campaign organisation, Kayode Oladeji said: “Those who carried out the shenanigans they called expulsion of Omooba Dotun Babayemi from the PDP are ignorant of the rules that govern the party; they and their sponsors are only being clever by half in their bid to browbeat Babayemi, a man of the people. They are jesters who enjoy amusing themselves”.