Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
Senator Ali Modu Sheriff-led faction of the of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Supreme Court to stay all proceedings at the Court of Appeal relating to the party’s gubernatorial candidate in Ondo State pending the determination of his appeal at the Supreme Court.
The appellants in the notice of appeal, filed by their counsel, B.E.F Nwofor (SAN), before the Supreme Court on November 11, 2016, challenged the decision of the panel that allowed the application filed by Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), challenging the judgment 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.
The dissatisfied appellants also challenged the decision of the panel refusing to disband itself.
The appellants also prayed for an order of the court to stay all further proceedings and further hearing in appeal No. CA/A/551C/2016: between Jegede and Prince Biyi Poroye and ten others pending the hearing and determination of the appeal filed on 11 November 2016 by the appellants at the Supreme Court.
The Court of Appeal had on November 10 ruled against the Sherrif’s faction. Dissatisfied, the faction headed to the apex court.
The appellants raised six grounds upon which they asked the Supreme Court to set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal.
They contended that the learned justices erred in law when they held that the decision of the President of the Court of Appeal to constitute a special panel to preside over the Ondo State 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 breached 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.
Poroye in a separate appeal 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.
The appellants asked the Supreme Court to note that their affidavit at the Court of Appeal was neither challenged nor controverted by the respondents.
They also accused the justices of the Court of Appeal of failing to apply the principle of natural justice.
The appellants prayed the Supreme Court to allow the appeal and to also set aside the ruling of the lower court refusing to set aside the decision of the President of the Court of Appeal to constitute a special panel.
Also, in another appeal filed by Poroye against Senator Ahmed Makarfi and three others, 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.
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.
The Court of Appeal had last week allowed Jegede to challenge the judgment of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court which ordered INEC to remove his name and replace it with that of Jimoh Ibrahim.