The Ake palace in Abeokuta, Ogun State was on Saturday cordoned off by police officers believed to be from the Ogun State Police Command and officers of the Department of the State Security Services.
The officers had allegedly been sent by the faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) loyal to Governor Dapo Abiodun to lock up the venue of the parallel congress of those members loyal to former Governor Ibikunle Amosun, preventing party faithful from gaining access.
Many people believed to have been mobilised for the parallel congress were seen loitering around the palace, and unable to enter the venue.
According to a report by Daily Independent, the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, was inside the palace when the gate was locked on both APC members and the Palace inhabitants.
The monarch was planning to instal one Chief Toyin Amuzu as the Asiwaju Leragun Egba at the palace.
A source, however, said the police, led by the Abeokuta Area Commander, later vacated the place about an hour to the commencement of the congress.
The source who craved anonymity alleged that the police were mobilised on the order of Governor Abiodun but vacated the palace on the order of the Inspector-General of Police.
The spokesperson of Ogun State Police Command, Abimbola Oyeyemi, could not be reached for comment at the time of filing this report.
Calls put across to all his mobile numbers were not picked while text messages sent to him were not replied to at the time of filing this report.
The Ogun State Chapter of APC had set for parallel Congresses, with both factions announcing different venues.
While the group loyal to Abiodun has started gathering at the MKO Abiola International Stadium as the venue of the congress, the other group loyal to Amosun was also converging around Ake Palace ground for the congress.
The Chairman of the State Congress, Wale Ohu, had, Thursday, through a statement released by the Chief Press Secretary, announced MKO Abiola Stadium as the congress venue.
Ohu assured that the congress would be monitored by officials of the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC and security agents.
But on Friday, the group loyal to Amosun also released a statement quoting Gbenga Opaleye from Oyo State as the leader of the team assigned to conduct the congress at Ake Palace.
Independent gathered that Opaleye is also a member of the congress committee sent to Ogun State from the national headquarters of the Party.
In a related development, both Amosun and Abiodun groups have inaugurated factional local government exco of the party, the same way factional wards excos were inaugurated at different venues and times.
While the group loyal to the Governor inaugurated its excos on Friday at the party’s Secretariat in Iyana Mortuary, Abeokuta, Amosun’s group was planning to inaugurate theirs at Ake Palace ground, their congress venue.