The late Senator Isiaka Adeleke may be replaced at the National Assembly by his younger brother, Ademola, going by indications from the Osun state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The party will on Monday hold a primary election to select its candidate for the upcoming by-election to fill the vacant seat left behind by the deceased senator famously known as ‘Serubawon’ and the first civilian governor of the state who died after a heart attack in April.
A 5-man committee set up by the APC national secretariat to screen aspirants for the primary election over the weekend cleared Mr Ademola Adeleke to contest the election while disqualifying his major contender, Senator Mudashiru Hussein.
The chairman of the panel, Sanusi Rikiji, who is also Speaker of the Zamfara State House of Assembly, told newsmen that Hussein was disqualified because he failed to tender his registration letter as a serving commissioner within 30 days before the expression of his interest to contest for the senatorial seat.
In a letter to the chairman of the Osun State APC, Prince Gboyega Famoodun, as well as two aspirants – Hussein and Adeleke – the panel stated that Hussein was disqualified for allegedly breaching the Electoral Act.
Hussein has however maintained that he remains in contention for the party’s ticket and that he had earlier resigned from his position as commissioner and tendered his resignation letter to the governor on June 6.
Intervening in the controversy, Osun State Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice Dr Ajibola Basiru said the panel did not set a rule of engagement for its operation before the screening and urged it to reconsider its position.
It remains to be seen if Hussein will be allowed to contest with Ademola on Monday. The Nation however reports that the panel has urged all sides to ensure their supporters maintain the peace throughout the conduct of the primary election.
The by-election into the vacant Osun west senatorial seat is scheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to hold on July 8. The commission had earlier in April claimed it was yet to formally informed of a vacancy but that appears now resolved.