*Over inauguration of caretaker c’ttee
By Ola Ajayi
IBADANâ€”AS the battle for the control of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Oyo State rages, the faction sympathetic to the state Governor, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala has dragged the party and its National Chairman, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor to the State High Court over the inauguration of a new caretaker committee headed by Mr. Yunus Akintunde.
Akalaâ€™s camp had, a fortnight ago, rejected the choice of the leader of the committee on the strength that he is a loyalist of former governor, Rasheed Ladoja. To show his influence on the party, Governor Alao-Akala, last week, summoned all the ward, local and state chairmen of the party to a meeting where he vowed that none of them would be allowed to be sent packing by the Ike Nwachukwu committee which was in the state to reconcile the feuding parties.
Akalaâ€™s faction boycotted the election, pointing accusing fingers at Senator Nwachukwuâ€™s committee as fanning embers of disunity in the party in the state.
To this end, Akalaâ€™s camp in its bid to hold the baton of the party then took the case before Justice O.A. Boade of the High Court, Ibadan.
The plaintiff in the case are Messrs Sikiru Ikuogbogun, Niyi Akande, Ojo Bolaji and Alhaji Rufai Adetomiwa Memudu while defendants are the party and the National Chairman, Prince Ogbulafor.
Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, represented Akalaâ€™s group while Owukori Akuiyibo and Mr Bayo Shittu stood in for the defendants.
At the sitting of the court yesterday, Chief Ayorinde raised an objection on the change of counsel by the defendants, arguing that one Mr Olusola Oke had initially been recorded as the defendantsâ€™ counsel.
Counsel to the defendant apologised for the shortcomings. The second counsel who represented the defendants prayed the court to grant their oral representation until the defendants decide otherwise.
At this juncture, Akuiyibo told the court that the issue of legal representation had already been resolved. After the court had granted the prayer, Chief Ayorinde then said the defendants had filed a notice of preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the State High court to hear the matter. The matter was then adjourned to 15 March 2010.