The fate of the governorship candidate of the Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi-led caretaker committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede, in the November 26, 2016 governorship election in Ondo State, hangs in the balance, as the three-member panel of Justices of the Court of Appeal, sitting in Abuja, on Friday, failed to deliver judgement in the appeal he filed against the judgment of Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court.
Justice Abang had, in the judgement ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to replace Jegede’s name with Jimoh Ibrahim, who emerged winner of the primary election conducted by the Senator Ali Modu-Sherif’s faction of the party.
Abang had in his judgment in June, held that Sheriff was the authentic National Chairman of the PDP on the grounds that there was an order of the Lagos division of the Federal High Court that restrained PDP from holding the convention where Senator Ahmed Makarfi and Senator Ben Obi emerged as National Chairman and National Secretary of the party’s Caretaker Committee respectively, having purportedly dissolved the Ali Modu Sheriff leadership.
The Court was set to deliver judgement in all the appeals that emanated from the Ondo PDP matter, only to put off the judgment indefinitely following a motion filed at the Supreme Court by Sheriff’s led faction, asking the appeal court to hands off from the matter.
The Justice Ibrahim Salauwa led panel informed parties that, the panel was served with the motion before the Supreme Court at about 7:30pm the previous night, on an appeal against its earlier ruling where it assumed jurisdiction as a well constituted panel.
In the motion, factional chairman of the party in the state, Biyi Poroye, accused the panel of bias and prayed the apex court to restrain the justices from further proceedings in the appeals.
The motion served on the panel at about 7:30pm on Thursday, alleged that the three justices had betrayed their office with the way the appeals are being handled.
The three justices, Ibrahim saulawa, Ignatius Agube, and George Mbaba, were joined as parties in the motion filed at the apex court, which accused the appeal court panel of showing disrespect to the Supreme Court by violating les pendency.
Justice saulawa, who announced the receipt of the motion in the court, described the motion as politically motivated and diabolical.
“We recall that our panel was put in place on a rescue mission when the Justice Sankey led panel withdrew from the matter following the allegation of bias and bribery.
“We have come this far, we want to do what is most reasonable. We want to await the decision of the Supreme Court on the said motion. It is most unfortunate, but we have to do this to await the Supreme Court on the decision whether are right or not.
“We rule that the appeal and sister appeals which were slated for ruling has been adjourned sine die (indefinitely) to await decision of the Supreme Court”, Justice Salauwa stated..
Speaking with newsmen after the adjournment, counsel to Eyitayo Jegede, Dayo Akinlaja (SAN), said that the action of the respondents was barbaric because their motion had put the court of appeal on trial
Akinlaja announced that the Supreme Court had already given them next week Tuesday to hear the motion which forced the court of Appeal to. adjourn the judgement.
The appeal before the Supreme court was filed by Biyi Poroye through his counsel, Beluolisa Nwofor (SAN).