Views: 561 Posts: 0 Started By: Lil_Prince Last Poster: Lil_Prince Last Post Date: Nov 07, 2016
November 7, 2016 ( Post 1 )

The new Special Court of Appeal Penal Panel constituted to resolve all appeals in the Ondo State PDP governorship candidate crisis is set to deliver ruling on motion asking it to disband itself.

Justice Ibrahim Salauwa, leading the three member panel had on Friday in Abuja opened hearing in the multiple appeals.

The new special panel had succeeded the Justice Jummai Sankey’s panel which disqualified itself on Nov.2 following accusation of fraud against the members.

The two other justices that made up the panel were Igwe Aguba, and George Mbaba.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, Sen. Ben Obi, Biyi Poroyo, Eyitayo Jegede, and Jimoh Ibrahim were parties in the matter.

The Executive of PDP South West Zone, Ondo State Executive members of the party were also interested parties.

The panel, among other things is, therefore, to determine the legitimate faction empowered to conduct governorship primaries of the party.

The court had been for the umpteenth time asked to reverse the administrative decision by its President, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, to constitute a fresh panel to hear appeals relating to the dispute.

At the resumed session, Mr Benson Nwafor (SAN), counsel to Poroye and eight others, sought to move an application challenging the jurisdiction of the special panel.

The motion was brought pursuant to Section 36, Order 7 Rule 1 of the Court of Appeal Rules.

The motion was also supported by 14-paragraph affidavit.

The motion is asking for the dissolution of the special panel constituted by the President of the Court to determine appeals arising from the Ondo State PDP governorship candidate disputes.

Nwafor submitted that the panel had no jurisdiction to entertain the matter, adding that its clients were not served the notice for the constitution of the appeal.

He also said Jegede, who contested the governorship nomination of the party, had approached the President of the court for this penal, adding that it was against fair hearing.

“We, therefore, want the administrative decision of the court that constituted this penal to be set aside.

“By extension, we are urging the members of the panel to disband the panel as they have no backing of law to adjudicate on these appeals.

“If this development is allowed to go on it would amount to disrespect of the rule of law, due process and fair hearing,”
he said.

Also, Mr Godswill Mrakpo, Counsel to the Sheriff-led faction, also asked the court to disband the panel forthwith.

Mrakpo alleged that the panel was set up in breach of the applicant’ right to fair hearing guaranteed under Section 36 of the Constitution.

According to the appellants, the court lack the jurisdiction to constitute the panel to hear the matter.

He equally prayed the court to order the return of the case files relating to all the appeals to the Registry of the court.

However, Chief Wole Olanikpekun (SAN), Counsel to Jegede, urged the panel to dismiss the motion.

“We oppose this motion, we are urging the court to dismiss the motion on the basis of the motion itself and the grounds of the motion which are baseless,”he said.

On the submission by Nwafor that the no counter-affidavit was filed challenging the propriety of the motion, Olanipekun said there was nothing to counter.

Olanikpekun said the motion was contrived by the applicant and counsel to Sheriff-led PDP faction to frustrate the hearing of this matter.

On allegation that Jegede approached the President of the court for the constitution of a special penal to hear these appeals, Olanipekun argued that submission should be discountenanced.

“My noble lords, the applicant has not attached any letter or correspondence that proves such fact and therefore, the panel cannot decide on such element.

“Also, the court should take judicial notice of the applicant’s submission that challenges the capacity of the President of the court from taking administrative decisions.

“We are of the thi.

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