Alex Enumah in Abuja
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court in Abuja wednesday fixed June 6 for the commencement of hearing of the substantive suit seeking the removal from office, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State.
When the matter came up yesterday, Prof J. O Amukwutor (SAN), counsel to Olusegun Abraham, the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant in Ondo State during the last governorship election, informed the court that the appeal, in respect to the ruling of the court delivered on December 16, 2016 has been finally decided by the Supreme Court.
â€œWe are here, pursuant to the judgment of the Supreme Court to continue with the business of the court concerning the caseâ€, he said and added that the apex court affirmed Justice Dimgbaâ€™s ruling for the respondents to be served with the processes of the court through substituted means.
Amukwutor further informed the court that he has a motion on notice filed on July 21, 2017, seeking leave of the court to amend plaintiffâ€™s originating summons.
The motion, which was not opposed by counsel to the respondents in the matter, was granted by the court and adjourned till June 6, 2018 to commence hearing on the substantive suit.
Abraham is challenging the emergence of Akeredolu as the APC flag bearer in the 2016 governorship poll in the state and is urging the court to declare him winner of the primary.
Justice Dimgba commenced the hearing of the suit yesterday, following the judgment of the Supreme Court that Akeredoluâ€™s appeal was without merit and could not stop the case from being heard at the Federal High Court.
The apex court, in the judgment, upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal and dismissed Akeredoluâ€™s appeal for lacking in merit.
The Appeal Court judgment delivered by Justice Abdu Aboki held that the trial court was right to order substituted service on Akeredolu through the headquarters of the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) since the headquarters of both entities are in Abuja.
The appeal filed by the governor is specifically against the ruling of a Federal High Court delivered on the December, 16, 2016 in which Abraham was granted an order enabling him to serve the governor and other defendants by substituted means.
Recalled that Justice Dimgba had adjourned indefinitely the suit filed by Abraham, seeking an order to nullify the election of Akeredolu.
Abraham had asked the court to declare him winner of the September 3, 2016 APC primary election and subsequently be sworn in to replace Akeredolu as governor of Ondo State.
He is alleging that a doctored delegatesâ€™ list was used to manipulate the election in favour of the governor.