PDP crisis deepens, Lawal’s loyalists expel

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From Laide Raheem, AbeokutaThe crisis rocking the Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took a new twist, yesterday, as the party announced the expulsion of Ladi Adebutu, its governorship candidate and four others.A statement signed by the Chairman, Disciplinary Committee of the party, Akintunde Mufutau, said Adebutu was expelled alongside Taiwo Akinlabi, Sunday Solarin, Kayode Adebayo and Akinloye Bankole for alleged manipulation of the delegates’ list that was used in conducting the May 25, 2022 governorship primary  and for flagrant disobedience to court orders.It is believed that Adebutu’s expulsion was instigated by the faction loyal to Jimi Lawal, a governorship aspirant of the party, who was expelled alongside three others by a group within the party loyal to Adebutu.The group had petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to investigate Lawal for allegedly forging the delegates’ list presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the governorship primary.Following the primary which produced Adebutu as governorship candidate of the PDP,  three members, Taiwo Olabode Idris, Kehinde Akala and Alhaji Ayinde Monsuri, had  dragged the party, Adebutu and INEC to a Federal High Court in Abeokuta,  challenging the authenticity of the delegates’ lists used for the conduct of the primary.Delivering judgment, Justice  O.O Oguntoyinbo had nullified all the primary elections conducted by the party in the state ordering the party to conduct fresh primaries within 14 days.The Adebutu group had accused Lawal’s group of conducting a fresh primary without the approval and supervision of the national headquarters of the party before announcing their suspension and eventual expulsion.But in a counter move, yesterday, which has further deepened the crisis in the party in Ogun State, the group loyal to Jimi Lawal said Adebutu, who has been on suspension since October 25 was finally expelled after the working committee of the party, reviewed the report of a five-man disciplinary panel set up to look into allegations of anti-party, indiscipline, division and acts capable of bringing the party into disrepute brought against them.



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