The battle for the soul of Ondo State within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has shifted to the Supreme Court where a motion by the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff-led faction is asking the apex court to stay all proceedings before the Court of Appeal presided by the special panel constituted by the president of the court, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa.
In a notice of appeal filed by their counsel, B.E.F Nwofor (SAN), on November 11, 2016, the appellants are challenging the decision of the panel that allowed the application filed by Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), against the judgement of the Federal High Court that ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remove his name and replace it with that of Jimoh Ibrahim.
They also challenged the decision of the panel for refusing to disband itself.
Besides, the appellants are further praying for an order of the court staying all further proceedings and further hearing in appeal No. CA/A/551C/2016: between Mr.Eyitayo Jegede and Prince Biyi Poroye and 10 ors pending the hearing and determination of the appeal filed on November 11, 2016 by the appellants at the Supreme Court of Nigeria against the rulings delivered by the special panel of the court of appeal presided over by Justice Ibrahim Salauwa on November 10, 2016.
The appellants also prayed the Supreme Court to take notice of the proceedings in the list court of November 7, 2016, where the appellants herein, as 1-9 respondents in the court below, raised the issue of jurisdiction of the court below to hear the motions pending before it on various grounds including the ground that there was no valid notice of appeal filed in the court below.
The appellants in the 6 ground raised contended that the learned justices erred in law when they held that the decision of the President, Court of Appeal PCA, to constitute a special panel to preside over the Ondo appeals was not against the normal administrative functions of her office.
They argued, among others, that the three-member tribunal, led by Justice Ibrahim Salauwa, erred in law and was in breach of S 36 of the 1999 constitution in its decision that allowed the 1st respondent (Jegede) leave to appeal against the decision of the Federal High court of October 14.
Prince Biyi Poroye asked the Supreme Court to, among others, set aside the verdict of the court of Appeal and grant all his reliefs as contained in his petition.
Poroye and the other eight appellants also argued that the panel was wrong to regard the unchallenged depositions as speculative when there was nothing on their record that made the depositions far-fetched whereby the existence of the special panel confirmed such.
The appellants, who noted in their ground 5 (a) of the appeal that the affidavit in support of the application was neither challenged nor controverted by the respondents to the application added that the special panel failed to apply the principle of law that the rules of natural Justice equally apply to both judicial and administrative decisions.
Also in another appeal filed by Prince Biyi Poroye against Senator Ahmed Makarfi and 3 ors, at the Supreme Court, the appellants prayed the Supreme Court to take judicial notice of the appellants’ dissatisfaction with the decision of the Court of Appeal of 10, November, 2016.
They maintained in their ground one of the appeal that the appeal court failed by law to have held that they had no jurisdiction to entertain the motion filed by the 1and 2 respondents on November 2.
They prayed the Apex court to grant all the reliefs sought in favour of the applicants and to also allow the appeal.
Meanwhile, a letter from the Supreme Court confirming the notice of appeal dated November 14 and signed by one Josephine Ekperobe has been transmitted to the court of appeal.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the appeal.
It would be recalled that the Court of Appeal, Abuja division had last week allowed the application filed by Eyitayo Jegede SAN to challenge the judgement of the Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja which ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC to remove his name and replace it with that of Jimoh Ibrahim.
Beg Tinubu or forget Ondo, Timi Frank tells APC
…Drags party, Oyegun to court
From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Embattled National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has warned the ruling party to reconcile with the national leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, if it wants to win the November 26 election.
Speaking during a media parley in Abuja, the acting spokesperson of the party also made good his threat to take legal action against the party by dragging it to the Federal High Court Abuja for an interim order to restrain it from suspending or taking any disciplinary action against him.
The acting spokesperson recently suspended from the party after the National Working Committee (NWC) approved the report of the Panel of Inquiry on the petition written against him, told journalists in Abuja that he has no option than to head to court.
Frowning that having exhausted every diplomatic means, including several correspondents with the party’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun concerning status in the party, he said that he went to court to defend his fundamental human rights. His words: “You can see very clearly that there are issues, look at the disagreement in the recently organized governorship election primary in Ondo State, you can see that when the party leadership went for the campaign flag-off, many of the leaders were not there. The national leader of the party was not there, because he was out of the country. So, we must do everything to put all hands on deck.
“If we have to win Ondo, we have to seek reconciliation, we have to harmonize interests with the leaders that are relevant and have impact. We must put every measure in place to ensure that the national leader is carried along; nobody can keep him aside because he has so much to offer at this point.
“Tinubu has shown clearly that he is a true leader of this party and somebody that truly loves this party. For me, I will advise my party to do everything possible to ensure that he is not kept aside.
“Today, it is very clear that he is being shoved aside by certain forces in the party who believed that they can do this job without him, but that is not possible; you cannot do this job without Tinubu. This is why we must do everything to reconcile these differences rocking the party.
“I said it before now and let it not be too late. You can see many realignment moves taking place in the country. It might seem like rumour but things are going on in this country but I don’t want us to create a vacuum that will make our members to join forces with any other platform that may spring up any time now,” he said.
Dismissing the threat that he would face suspension for dragging the party to court, Comrade Frank also itemised the prayers he took to court, stressing: “I seek an interim order to restrain the respondents, by themselves, committees, officers, agents servants, privies or howsoever called from suspending and/or otherwise taking any other disciplinary action against me as a member of the APC pending the hearing and determination of the substantive originating summons.
“That I now live and work in fear of imminent unwarranted suspension and other pre-meditated disciplinary actions by defendants, who have shown manifest intention to continue with same if not restrained”.
Ajasin, Adefarati families disown Oke
The families of the late civilian governors of Ondo State, Adekunle Ajasin and Adebayo Adefarati, have disowned the claim by the candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), Chief Olusola Oke that they have endorsed his ambition.
Reacting to Oke’s claim in a joint statement signed by the late Adefarati’s son, Mr Gboyega Adefarati, the two families cautioned Oke against what they called name dropping, saying that the AD’s candidate and their fathers had nothing in common in political orientation and moral principle.
The statement read in part: “We take exception to Oke’s claim in political jingles on radio and television and his misleading political campaigns that his political philosophy represented our fathers’
political identities, including claim that our late fathers’ families had endorsed him as the governorship candidate of Ondo State.
“This is clearly a fraud. Nobody in the families of the late leaders ever endorsed Oke because the AD candidate has nothing in common with our fathers.
“Ajasin and Adefarati never flirted with the ruling party before they became governors of the Sunshine State; all they did was to remain in their political camps to realize their ambitions without jumping around for fortunes like Oke is now doing by running away from PDP after the party lost the presidential election in 2015.
“It is on this note that we warn Oke to stop dropping the names of our fathers because he has nothing in common with our noble fathers and the families will never under any circumstance endorse Oke for any leadership position in the state because of his moral burden and political records,” the statement added.
Describing Oke’s claim that he had a dream that the two former governors endorsed his candidacy as “a nightmarish political pressure to con Ondo State people”, the statement added that Oke’s claim was a fraud taken too far, warning that the families would resist the AD’s candidate’s move “to soil the names of their fathers on the altar of political expediency.”
The statement further noted that “Oke’s claim is nothing but hagiography as these families will never endorse any desperate politician who jumps from one party to the other just to contest election.
‘’Oke is only a political demagogue who is out to deceive the unsuspecting voters just to get to power at all costs. Otherwise, how can Oke claim that he has been endorsed by Ajasin and Adefarati political families when the scions of these families are firmly rooted in APC? Tokunbo and Jumoke Ajasin are APC leaders in Ondo State from Owo division of the state, while Gboyega Adefarati is a symbol of the APC solidarity in Akoko area of the northern Ondo State and we wonder where Oke is getting the support of these leaders who will never betray their party for greener pastures that has become Oke’s pastime,” the statement added.