Ondo: Supreme Court Throws Out Applications Seeking to Stop Jegede

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Tobi Soniyi in Abuja

The Supreme Court on Thursday struck out the appeal that sought to nullify the leave granted to Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, to challenge or query the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which barred him from participating in the Ondo governorship election billed for Saturday under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party.

The apex court, in a unanimous judgment by a five-man panel of Justices led by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, also threw out 14 separate motions filed before it by chieftains of the PDP from six South West States who are loyal to the Alimodu Sheriff group.

Justice Onnoghen, who delivered the ruling, held that the interlocutory appeals had turned “academic” considering the fact that the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal had already delivered judgment on the substantive matter.

However, the apex court declined to award cost against the appellants who are loyal to the Ali Modu-Sheriff faction of the PDP.

The appeals were filed by the Chairman of the PDP in Ondo State, Prince Biyi Poroye and Ademola Genty (for themselves and the Ondo State Executive Committee of the PDP), Hon. Olasoji Adagunodo, Bola Ajao Lateef (Osun State PDP Excos), Hon. Taiwo Akeem, Hon. Alaba Adelabu (Oyo State) as well as Hon. Bowale Solaja, Otunba Adewale
Segun and Ogunbiyi Adeleke Olasukanmi.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja had in a judgment delivered on Wednesday, reinstated Jegede as the rightful candidate of the PDP for the Ondo poll.

The Justice Ibrahim Saulawa-led three-man Special Panel of the appellate court equally vacated the June 29 and October 14 verdicts of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja, which initially ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), to recognise Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim as PDP flag-bearer for the governorship
election.

Whereas Jegede emerged from primary election that was sanctioned by the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Working Committee (NWC), of the PDP, Ibrahim on the other hand, secured his ticket from the Ondo State Executive Committee of the party which is loyal to PDP faction under the leadership of Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff.

While striking out the interlocutory motions on Thursday, the apex court said Poroye and his group were at liberty to appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

Justice Onnoghen said it was better and safer for the appellants to add all the issues they raised in the 14 motions, in any appeal they may wish to lodge against the decision of the court of appeal.

The Acting CJN said there was no point hearing the motions in piece meal when final judgement had been delivered.