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Appeal Court reserves judgement on PDP crisis



The Court of Appeal on Friday in Abuja reserved ruling on a motion seeking to commence action against affirmation of Ali Modu Sheriff as Acting National Chairman of PDP.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ahmed Makarfi and Ben Obi are seeking leave to appeal the June 29 decision of the Federal High Court that affirmed Mr. Sheriff as chairman.

Justice Hanatu Sanke deferred the ruling after counsel to parties adopted their written addresses.

The two applicants, who are chairman and secretary of the caretaker committee of the party respectively, had sought for leave to be allowed to appeal against the decision of the lower court.

They are also seeking for an extension of time to file the appeal against the decision of Justice Abang Okon.

The respondents are Mr. Sheriff, INEC, PDP, among others.

Dayo Akinlaja, counsel to the applicants, argued that the Ondo State officials of the party had rode on the judgment to conduct governorship primary ahead of the November 26 governorship election.

“We are contending the fallout of this misappropriation of rules that brought in Jimoh Ibrahim as the governorship candidate of the party in Ondo State,’’ he said.

He said the judgment of the lower court erroneously bestowed power on Mr. Sheriff to constitute the committee that conducted the Ondo State governorship primary.

On why the applicants waited for three months before signifying interests to challenge the judgment, Mr. Akinlaja said it was immaterial, adding that Mr. Sheriff was at that point not viewed as the chairman of the party.

According to him, the applicants have reasonable interests to commence the action being officials of the party.

Alex Izinyon, counsel to Mr. Sheriff, urged the court to discountenance the motion, adding that the action was an afterthought.

He argued that the applicants were not desirable parties and therefore could not be instituting the action.

Mr. Izinyon further said the applicants had not shown course why their prayers should be granted, adding that they had approached the court as members and not officials of the party.

“My lords, this is firmly captured by the way they have asked to be joined after three months of delivery of a judgment.

“The question is what is their interests and what do they stand to lose if the motion is struck out.

“PDP had accepted the judgment in good fate as they did not also appeal against it. I am urging the court to dismiss this motion for want of merit,” Mr. Izinyon said.

The court granted applications for withdrawal of two motions filed by counsel to the applicants.

Mr. Akinlaja said he was compelled to ask for the withdrawal of a motion seeking order to restrain INEC from recognising Mr. Ibrahim as governorship candidate due to commission’s pre-emptive action.

He said the commission on October 27 gave the acclaimed candidate the Certificate of Return during the pendency of the suit.

Mr. Izinyon was, however, quick to interject on this submission, adding that Mr. Akinlaja was yet to be accepted as an interested party in the matter.

He said INEC only went ahead to carry out the October 27 judgment of the Federal High Court that upheld Jimoh Ibrahim as the governorship candidate of the party.

Appearance of Olagoke Fakunle and Robert Erakpo to hold PDP’s brief forced the court to adjourn a motion filed by the party.


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