Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Supreme Court yesterday struck out an appeal filed by the national secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the Senator Buruji Kashamu-backed leadership of the party in Ogun State.
A five-man panel of the apex court, presided over by Justice Mohammed Musa Dattijo, struck out the suit on the grounds that the appeal had become statute barred, lifeless and worthless, having been overtaken by the 4th Alteration to the 1999 Constitution.
PDP in the appeal had challenged the judgment of Justice Buba Ibrahim of the Federal High Court, Lagos, and upheld by the Court of Appeal, which conferred recognition on the Dayo Adebayo-led executive committee of the party in Ogun State as the authentic leadership.
Counsel to the appellant, Emeka Etiaba (SAN), yesterday, at the resumed hearing, told the court that the matter was not a pre-election matter, but borders on leadership of the PDP in Ogun State.
Responding, counsel to the Dayo Adebayo led group, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), insisted that it was a pre-election matter because it relates to the candidate nomination for the next general election.
He drew the court’s attention to ground 8 of the application filed on December 14, 2018 by the appellant for accelerated hearing of the appeal, where the appellant said the subject of the matter is to determine the rightful candidate in Ogun State.
He also referred to paragraphs 11, 12 and 13 of the affidavit supporting the application where the appellant also said that the matter is about the determination of which of the two set of candidates that emanated from the parallel executives of the party should be presented to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Izinyon further submitted that the suit has become a mere academic exercise because it has been caught up with a provision of the 1999 Constitution that a pre-election suit must be filed within 14 days.
He added that the appeal, having been filed out of time, has become lifeless, statute-barred and worthless because it cannot confer any benefit on the appellant.
The court accepted the submissions by Izinyon and held that the case was a pre-election matter, on which the court no longer has jurisdiction in view of the effect of the 4th Alteration Act.
Justice Dattijo in his ruling agreed with Izinyon that the appeal has become statute-barred and lifeless and consequently struck it out.
The court held that the precious time of the court and energy of the justices cannot be dissipated on an appeal that will not confer any benefit on the appellant.
With the striking out of the appeal, the coast has become fully cleared for the participation of only the Dayo Adebayo led leadership in the 2019 general elections.