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Poroye, Sheriff-led PDP insist on dissolution of new panel

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The new Special Court of Appeal Penal Panel constituted to resolve all appeals in the Ondo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate crisis is set to deliver ruling on a motion seeking it to disband itself.

Justice Ibrahim Salauwa, leading the three member panel had, last Friday, in Abuja opened hearing in the multiple appeals.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, Senator Ben Obi, Biyi Poroyo, Eyitayo Jegede, and Jimoh Ibrahim were parties in the matter.

The Executive of PDP South West Zone, and the Ondo State Executive members of the party were also interested parties.

At the resumed session, Mr Benson Nwafor (SAN), counsel to Poroye and eight others, sought to move an application challenging the jurisdiction of the special panel.

The motion was brought pursuant to Section 36, Order 7 Rule 1 of the Court of Appeal Rules.

The motion was also supported by 14-paragraph affidavit.

The motion is asking for the dissolution of the special panel constituted by the President of the Court to determine appeals arising from the Ondo PDP candidate disputes.

Nwafor submitted that the panel had no jurisdiction to entertain the matter, adding that its clients were not served the notice for the constitution of the appeal.

He also said Jegede, who contested the governorship nomination of the party, had approached the President of the court for this penal, adding that it was against fair hearing.

Also, Mr Godswill Mrakpo, Counsel to the Sheriff-led faction, also asked the court to disband the panel forthwith.

Mrakpo alleged that the panel was set up in breach of the applicant’ right to fair hearing guaranteed under Section 36 of the Constitution.

According to the appellants, the court lack the jurisdiction to constitute the panel to hear the matter.

He equally prayed the court to order the return of the case files relating to all the appeals to the Registry of the court.

However, Chief Wole Olanikpekun (SAN), Counsel to Jegede, urged the panel to dismiss the motion.

“We oppose this motion, we are urging the court to dismiss the motion on the basis of the motion itself and the grounds of the motion which are baseless,”he said.