Published On: Fri, Nov 11th, 2016

Ondo 2016: Appeal Court Dismisses Jimoh Ibrahim’s Petition

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By Nuel Suji – An Appeal Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed an application challenging its jurisdiction in the matter of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidacy for Ondo State in the November 26 polls.Jimoh Ibrahim

The Court on Thursday thrown out the application by party loyal to Jimoh Ibrahim, dismissing it as an effort to frustrate the on-going appeal.

“This is a motion by the first to ninth defendants who have made numerous applications to achieve a sinister motive,” the court said.

Counsel to Mr. Ibrahim, Beluolisah Nwofor, had in the petition, questioned the newly constituted panel set up by the President of the Appeal Court, Zainab Bulkachuwa.

The Court of Appeal had earlier been reconstituted after its judges stepped down following allegation by factional chairman Biyi Poroye accused Justice Jummai Sankey led panel of taken bribe from Governor Olusegun Mimiko.

Justice Bulkachuwa reconstituted the fresh panel of three judges led by Ibrahim Salauwa, who is currently hearing the case.

The nine members who filed Thursday’s application form the 1st to 9th defendants in an application filed by another Ondo State governorship candidate of the PDP, Eyitayo Jegede.

Mr. Jegede is challenging an October 14 Federal High Court judgement that recognised Mr. Ibrahim as the authentic candidate of the PDP for the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State.

The first to ninth defendants, all members of the party from Mr. Ibrahim’s faction, said the constitution of a new panel over a pre-election matter amounted to an abuse of their right to fair hearing.

Their lawyer, Mr. Nwofor, said the matter was not time-bound and that the ‘hasty’ manner of approach adopted by the Appeal Court President would affect their right to fair hearing.

He, therefore, prayed the court to disband the panel, saying it lacks jurisdiction on the matter.

But delivering its ruling on Thursday, the judges rejected the application.

“This is an application that should not be allowed to see the light of day. Assuming that this panel is subject to any review by any court; this should not be the court.

“It is unimaginable that a panel set up by the President of the Appeal Court should be questioned by us,” said Mr. Ibrahim.

Other members of the panel, who contributed to the ruling, said the new panel was set up after the first defendant, Biyi Poroye, made his allegations. They wondered why the defendants seamed not satisfied with the court’s consideration of their petition.

The court also granted the application by Mr. Jegede demanding that the appeal court set aside its rules and allow him appeal previous judgements on the Ondo governorship election by the Federal High Court.

The Federal High Court recognised Mr. Ibrahim’s PDP candidacy after it recognised Ali Sheriff as the national chairman of the party.

Mr. Jegede, alongside Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo, are members of the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the PDP.

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