OSUN, EKITI GUBER ASPIRANTS TO SUE PDP OVER N178M NOMINATION FEE NON-REFUND
Former governorship aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun and Ekiti states are spoiling for war over refusal of the national headquarters and the states' leadership of the party to refund the sum of N8.5 million collected from them as statement of intention and nomination fees for their aborted dream since last year.
The party's national secretariat had collected N5.5 million as nomination fee from each of the aspirants including about 17 from Osun and six in Ekiti States ahead of the party primaries. In addition, the state executive of the party in Osun had, prior to this, levied its own prospective candidates N3 million each, in a bid to reduce the number of those who showed interest in the plum job, following acrimonious pre-campaign in the party.
However, the two court judgments that sacked the Segun Oni and Olagunsoye Oyinlola administrations and ushered in new regimes foreclosed elections in the two states, thus dissolving the aspirants' ambitions.
But Daily Sun learnt that rather than refund the money to the hapless aspirants, the party leadership simply sat on it.
Having waited in vain for months, some of the aspirants wrote the erstwhile national chairman of the party, Dr. Haliru Bello, now minister, to demand a refund. They were reportedly promised the refund and asked to furnish the headquarters with their bank account details so the money could be paid into them. However, more than four weeks after the assurance, the aspirants complained that the money was not forthcoming.
'We can't understand the reason for the delay. This is an injustice to hold on to the money. Afterall, it was not our fault that the elections did not hold. It was the court's decision that brought this to be and we expected that we be refunded immediately,' said one of the affected aspirants, Prince Diran Odeyemi, erstwhile special duties adviser to former governor Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State.
Odeyemi said he and his colleagues gave the concerned party hierarchy a two-week ultimatum from hence to pay them or face court action.