The Minister of Interior and former governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola has reportedly travelled out of Nigeria, boycotting today’s governorship election in the state, according to PREMIUM TIMES report.
Mr Aregbesola left Nigeria on Friday to attend a conference slated for Monday in Germany by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), reliable sources close to the minister have confirmed.
Although the interior ministry does not supervise the agency, it manages Nigeria’s borders through the Immigration Services, a jurisdiction critical to the NFIU’s mandate of checking illicit financial flows.
Mr Aregbesola had publicly scorned the second-term ambition of Gov Adegboyega Oyetola, endorsing the former secretary to the state government, Moshood Adeoti. His annointed candidate would later lose to Mr Oyetola at the APC governorship primary election held on February 19.
Prior to the primary, Mr Aregbesola had publicly declared his support for a caucus within the state’s chapter of the APC, The Osun Progressives (TOP), even as he said the caucus is peopled by the “real” progressives in the party and vowed to unseat the governor.
Displeased by the outcome of the primary election, TOP approached the Federal High Court in Abuja to seek the disqualification of Mr Oyetola from the race.
The suit was predicated on the argument that Mr Oyetola had taken part in the primary without resigning his membership of the ruling party’s national caretaker committee which was then led by the Yobe State Governor, Mala Buni.
But on Thursday, Justice Ekwo ruled that the case is a matter within the internal affairs of APC, noting that the court has no jurisdiction to meddle in.
The minister could have travelled on Sunday but chose to leave on the eve of the state’s governorship election “for some obvious reasons”, those familiar with the matter told PREMIUM TIMES. The sources craved anonymity because they were not permitted to speak on the matter.