By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
There was pandemonium on Tuesday in Iperu-Remo, Ikenne Local Government Area of Ogun State, home town of Governor Dapo Abiodun, as suspected thugs attacked and brutally stabbed a court bailiff, Mr. Adetayo Odunlami, on his head.
The thugs, allegedly loyal to the Vice Chairman of Ikenne Local Government, Hon. Efuwape Olaitan, were said to have attacked the bailiff when he attempted to serve court processes on their principal.
The hoodlums ,who allegedly used axe, cudgel, charms and bottles to inflict injuries on their target, also reportedly dispossessed him of an undisclosed amount of money, mobile phone, identity card and automated teller machine (ATM) card, among other valuables.
It was gathered that the incident was the fallout of the controversy trailing the All Progressives Congress (APC) nomination of councillorship candidates for the July 24 local government elections in the state and wrongful substitution for Ward 5, Iperu-Remo.
Our correspondent learnt that Odunlami, who is serving in the Ogun State High Court, Sagamu Division, had gone to carry out the order of Justice T. A. Okunsokan to serve the originating process and hearing notice on Hon. Efuwape in the suit filed by one Mr. Osularu Muyiwa, who claimed his name was wrongly substituted after the APC primaries.
Efuwape, the APC and Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) were joined as first, second and third respondents respectively in the suit.
But for mother luck, the bailiff could have been killed during the violent attack.
Narrating his ordeal to reporters, Odunlami said he went to serve the court processes on the first respondent (Efuwape) without police escorts.
The bailiff disclosed that after he had introduced himself to the vice chairman, some thugs who were with him (Efuwape) swooped on him and beat him mercilessly.
“I went there to serve court process. After I had identified myself, he (Efuwape) said ‘so you are the one they sent? I will show you today!’ In the process, his boys attacked me and stole my ATM, identity card, the money in my pocket and my mobile phone.
“They attacked me with axe, bottle *Juju* and other dangerous objects. In fact, they wanted to kill *me* but thank God, I escaped,” he told reporters.
The visibly shaken bailiff said he never envisaged such an attack could be launched against him in the cause of carrying out his legitimate official assignment.
Our correspondent reliably gathered that the matter had been reported to Iperu Police Station as of the time of filing this report.
It would be recalled that the APC candidates’ nomination for the forthcoming local government elections took another dimension when Osularu dragged Efuwape to court over allegations of wrongful substitution of name.
The originating court summons dated July 8, 2021 and filed on behalf of Osularu by his counsel was brought before the court in pursuant to Section 36 of 1999 Constitution, Section 87 (9) of Electoral Acts 2010 as amended, Articles 7, 19 and 21 of APC Constitution and paragraph 3, 4A (5) and 6 of the APC Electoral Guidelines 2014 and Order 3, Rules 8 and 9 of Ogun State High Court.
In an affidavit he deposed to, Osularu had claimed to have won the APC councillorship primaries for Ward 5, Iperu Remo held on May 20, 2021 but his name was allegedly substituted for Efuwape, who is currently the Vice Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the local government.
The applicant, therefore, prayed the court to grant an order nullifying the name of Efuwape as the APC councilorship candidate for Ward 5, Iperu Remo since his selection was not in tune with section 87 (9) of Electoral Acts 2010 as amended as well as APC constitution and election guidelines.
He also asked the court to order the APC (second respondent) to forward his name to the OGSIEC (third respondent) while the OGSIEC must accept, list, publicize and print his name on the ballot paper as the APC councillorship candidate for Ward 5, Iperu-Remo in the coming local government elections.
The applicant further urged the court to grant an order of perpetual injunction restraining Efuwape from parading himself as the APC standard bearer for Ward 5 in the local government elections.
Meanwhile, the court yesterday granted an Ex-parte Order moved by Daud Fazaz Segun, the counsel to the applicant, directing that the case will be heard during vacation considering its urgency.
The court, presided over by Justice Okansanwo further ordered that hearing notice be served on parties to the matter.