Days to the November 26 governorship election in Ondo state, the Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the Court of Appeal to continue hearing all appeals relating to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship candidacy tussle in Ondo state.
This followed the withdrawal of 10 motions filed for stay of proceeding by the Ali-Modu Sheriff faction of the party, which led to a stay of proceeding at the appellate court. Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onoghene, who presided over the proceeding, dismissed the motions and ordered the Appeal Court to resume hearing because the case is a pre-election matter. He awarded a cost of N250,000 against those who filed them. Counsel to the Sheriff-led PDP, Mr Beluolisa Nwofor, who earlier served the lower court the motions, prayed the Supreme Court to strike out the motion but the apex court instead dismissed it.
The Court of Appeal had adjourned indefinitely its judgment on the matter involving appeal by a factional candidate of the PDP in the election, Mr Eyitayo Jegede, to reclaim his candidacy of the PDP in the November 26 poll from Jimoh Ibrahim, who is of the Ali Modu Sheriff camp. The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had replaced Jegede’s name with that of Ibrahim as the party’s candidate in the election. The judgment slated for delivery was put off by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa following a motion filed at the Supreme Court by the Sheriff led-faction of the PDP asking the Court of Appeal panel to hands off the matter.
The Appeal Court had fixed Friday, November 18, 2016 to deliver judgment in respect of Jegede’s appeal against the decision of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court Abuja, which ordered the substitution of his name with that of Ibrahim for the governorship poll.