PDP Chieftain drags Former Governor Mimiko to court over leadership position

The battle for the leadership in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State worsened yesterday as the immediate past governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko was dragged to court over his status as the leader of the party.

Mimiko, a two term governor recently rejoined the party he dumped for Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) after four governors of the PDP visited him in his house in Ondo in Ondo West Local Government area of the state.

But yesterday, a member of the party and Coordinator of People’s Democratic Party Support Group (PSG), Mr Bode Obanla filed a suit at the state High Court to bar the former governor from assuming the leadership of the party having dumped the party when members needed him to lead.

Through his counsel, Messrs Kalu Kalu Agu and Oladimeji Oyesusi, the claimant sought a declaration that Mimiko by virtue of Chapter two Article 17 of the Constitution of the PDP as amended is an ordinary member of the party.

Aside Mimiko, the suit has as defendants, the National Chairman, Dr Iyochia Ayu, members of the National Working Committee (NWC), State Chairman of the party, Hon Fatai Adams, members of the State Working Committee and the PDP.

In his claim before the court, Obanla sought for “a declaration that the Mimiko is not entitled to be accorded the seniority and privileges attendant to his status as a former Governor in his membership of Ward Executive Committee, Local Government Executive Committee, State Executive Committee and the National Caucus in that he was not a Governor produced by the PDP not having won any Governorship Election under the party.”

Consequently, he sought for an “order of perpetual injunction restraining Mimiko from holding out himself or parading himself as a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the PDP as established in chapter four article 13 (1) and 31(1) (w) of the constitution of the PDP.”

Also, he prayed for “an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Dr Ayu, NWC and Adams from granting the Mimiko the seniority and privileges attendant to the status of a former Governor produced by the PDP, as provided in the Constitution of the PDP and in particular from being a member of the National Executive Committee of the party established in Chapter 4 Article 13 of the Constitution of the party.”

The major grouse of the Obanla is that Mimiko on December 8, 2006 abandoned his post as Minister for Housing, Lands and Urban Development in the Government of President Olusegun Obasanjo, resigned from the PDP and decamped to Labour Party (LP), upon which he contested for the Governorship seat of the State and won.

According to him, Mimiko won the second tenure on the platform of the LP but towards the end of his second tenure decamped to LP. He said Mimiko also decamped from PDP in 2017 to ZLP through which he contested the senatorial election in 2019 general elections.

Obanla said Mimiko who has not contested election under the PDP cannot rejoin the party and assume the position of a leader in the party.

The court has not fixed a date for the hearing of the suit.