The Committee of Past Presidents-General of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII) has demanded reversal of the disqualification of Barr. Niyi Ajewole, who is contesting for the post of CCII President-General, warning the Electoral Committee of the 2023 CCII Election not to destroy the legacies they have built over the past 40 years.
The past CCII President-General include: Chief Bode Amao who served between 1997 to 2007, Chief Yusuf Akande – 2007 to 2011, Chief Bayo Oyero– 2011 to 2015, Chief Wole Akinwande– 2015 to 2017, and Chief Yemi Soladoye who served at the CCII President-General between 2017 to 2021.
This is coming after Ajewole, who is contesting against the current President-General, Prince Yemisi Adeaga was disqualified by the Electoral Committee.
The Committee of Past Presidents-General said there is need for the Electoral Committee to conduct its affairs strictly within the provisions of the Constitution of the CCII.
According to a letter dated 30th March, 2023 which was addressed to the Chairman and Members of the 2023 CCII Electoral Committee, the Committee of Past President-General said: “Members of the Committee of the Past Presidents-General of the CCII, having been opportuned to pilot the affairs of the CCII for many decades up to its current enviable position, feel constrained to direct your attention to the need for your Committee to conduct its affairs strictly within the provisions of the Constitution of the CCII, so, as not to be guilty of destroying the legacies which we and the generality of Ibadan indigenes have built over the past 40 years.
“Specifically, your attention is drawn to the following points: The Constitution of the CCII is supreme and its provision is binding on all the organs and clubs of the CCII- Sec. 1.1(1).
“The General Assembly is the Supreme Authority and Regulatory Body of the CCII. – Sec. 3.0(1).
“Your Committee as an organ of the CCII was appointed, ratified and responsible to the General Assembly of the CCII- Sec. 8.3(1).
“Your Committee conducted a Screening Exercise on the Contestants for the 2023 Election in the CCII between 22nd and 23rd February 2023 after which you presented to and got the successful nominees ratified by the General Assembly.
“Upon the ratification of the General Assembly, all the successful nominees of the clubs were no more nominees but candidates for the 2023 CCII General Election.
“On 27th March 2023, you wrote to disqualify the nominee of Oluyole Social Elites.
“Deriving from 6 above, none of the Affiliate Clubs had any nominee that could be disqualified by your Committee on 27th March 2023 unless there is a sinister motive by you to take the CCII back to a position it had crossed over a month before and only 2 Weeks to the Election.
“Your purported Letter of Disqualification went further to state that “the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the CCII” (not your Committee) has found Oluyole Social Elites Club guilty of breach of Sec. 3.3(iii) and 8.2(iii) of the CCII Constitution.
“Consequently, on the above, the Nominee of Oluyole Social Elites Club for the post of CCII President General in the 2023 General Election has been disqualified from participating in the election. The pertinent points:
“No Club had any Nominee before your Committee as at 27th March 2023. Your Letter confirmed that your Committee is not independent.”
“Only 2 of your members signed the said letter, while another 3 signed another letter to dissociate themselves from your action and ostensibly the remaining 2 Abstained.
“Investigations revealed that the purported disqualification was neither presented nor ratified by the General Assembly – the Supreme Authority and Regulatory Body – of the CCII.
“Has the BOT of the CCII not usurped the powers of the Election Grievances Redress Committees enshrined in Sec. 8.3.2 and 8.3.3 of the CCII Constitution? 9) You relied your Disqualifying Powers on Sec. 8.2 (iii) of the CCII Constitution which read: ‘No Constituent Club shall have more than One Officer in the Executive Council at a time’. Your action in disqualifying the candidate of the Oluyole Social Elites Club will be regarded as premeditated, dictated, malicious and in bad faith unless you are able to show the following:-
“a) The sanction that is dictated in the CCII Constitution for any Club that “intends” to have more than one officer in the Executive Council.
“b) The Section of the CCII Constitution that grants your Committee and the BOT the Powers to create your own Rules and Sanctions on Election Matters in the CCII.
“c) The CCII Constitution under separate provisions clearly dictates the Establishment of not only the Arbitration Committee Sec. 8.3.2 (to resolve Election Grievances) and Election Arbitration Appeal Panel (as the final adjudicator for any electoral matters).
“d) The CCII Constitution on Disqualification of Candidate (Sec. 8.3.7) says:- A candidate disqualified by the Electoral Committee (on the ground specified in the Constitution) shall be notified through his/her club, at least one month before the election.
“Your letter of disqualification dated 27th March 2023 is Ten (10) Days to the Election which the Constitution provides should hold “at the April General Assembly Meeting in the Election Year – this falls on 7th April 2023.
“You went further to postpone the Election by one (1) Month and one week to (12th May 2023) without any presentation and ratification by the General Assembly of CCII,” the letter added.
The Committee of past President-General, however, said that the BoT does not have any constitutional power to give order to the Electoral Committee, saying the Committee should guard its independence jealously, adding that only the General Assembly can give them directive.
“You, as the Electoral Committee, also does not have any constitutional power to disqualify any candidate which you have already cleared under the Eligibility Clause of the Constitution. The reason adduced by the BOT, on which you based the disqualification, can be dealt with by other bodies already provided for in the CCII Constitution, e.g. The Election Arbitration Panel and Election Arbitration Appeal Panel.
“You, as the Electoral Committee does not have the power to postpone the date of the election, as you have done in your letter to Oluyole Social Elite Club. Only the General Assembly has such power, you can only advise the General Assembly if you think there is/are reason/reasons to do so,” the committee added.
Meanwhile, they further urged the Electoral Committee to reverse themselves by withdrawing the letter written to Oluyole Social Elite Club, so that the club will be free to contest the forthcoming election through its candidate.
“Ensure that you rescind the order to postpone the election as the action is unconstitutional and ultra vires your power. The election should, therefore, still hold on 14th April as earlier planned.
“We believe that with these, peace and tranquility will be restored in CCII. We appreciate all members of the Electoral Committee for accepting to serve CCII in that capacity.”