The Senator Ali Modu Sheriff’s faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has prayed the Supreme Court to disband the fresh panel set up by the President of the Court of Appeal, Zainab Bulkachuwa in relation to the dispute over the governorship candidate of the party in Ondo State.
Recall that Bulkachuwa has recently constituted a fresh panel to hear appeals over the crises relating to the governorship candidate of the PDP in Ondo State.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had replaced Eyitayo Jegede with Jimoh Ibrahim as PDP’s governorship candidate in Ondo State, an action that has led to crises in the state.
Sheriff’s appeal was contained in a motion filed before the Supreme Court seeking a stay of all proceedings before the Court of Appeal in relation to the appeals pending the determination of the two appeals they filed on October 31.
The motion marked CA/ABJ/402A/2016 and filed by two members of the party, Benson Akingboye and Ehiozuwa Agbonayiwa among others said it was wrong to allow the Court of Appeal to proceed with the appeals when they have valid appeals before the Supreme Court, which challenged the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal.
The motion reads, “All further proceedings and further hearing in CA/ ABJ/402A/2016 filed on behalf of the PDP by a lawyer engaged by the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the party’s leadership.
“As the first and second respondents in the lower court, they (Akingboye and Agbonayiwa) challenged by way of preliminary objection the validity of the appeal which originated the appeal at the court below.
“Apart from the said objection, there arose in the court below the issue of representation for the Peoples Democratic Party as two counsel laid conflicting claims to being the counsel authorised by the said party to act for it in this appeal.
“Neither the said preliminary objections of the applicants herein nor the said issue of which particular legal practitioner is authorized to represent the PDP was resolved before the court below fixed the substantive appeal for hearing.
“By fixing the substantive appeal for hearing, the court below thereby postponed the ruling or decision on it until the hearing of the whole appeal or case.
“This application could not be first brought at the court below due to the fact that the appeal had been entered at the Supreme Court when it was filed.”