• FaceBook
  • Twitter
  • Pin It
  • Linkedin
  • Buffer
  • WhatsApp

Ondo: INEC drops Ibrahim for Jegede as PDP candidate

Ondo: INEC drops Ibrahim for Jegede as PDP candidate


Eyitayo Jegede is the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said last night.

INEC’s position followed the Court of Appeal’s judgment that Jegede, not Jimoh Ibrahim is the right candidate for Saturday’s election.

Jegede’s candidacy has again put the Akure agenda on the front burner.

But the ruling party may be constrained by time. It is trailing behind the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Alliance for Democracy (AD) in campaigns.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja voided the October 14 ruling of the Federal High Court, Abuja in which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was ordered to substitute  Jegede (SAN) with  Ibrahim.

In a unanimous judgment yesterday, a three-man panel, led by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa, resolved the seven issues determined against the nine respondents, who are members of the state Executives of the PDP in the Southwest, led by Ondo State factional chairman  Biyi Poroye.

The judgment, which was the first of two judgments by the court yesterday, was on the appeal by Jegede against the October 14 ruling by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja on which basis INEC replaced Jegede with Ibrahim.

The court held, among others, that the lower court was wrong to have assumed jurisdiction over the case when he lacked such, and gave orders against Jegede, who was not a party in the suit.

Justice Saulawa, in the lead judgment, said the judge of the Federal High Court breached Jegede’s right to fair hearing, guaranteed  in Section 36 of the Constitution, when he (the judge) assumed jurisdiction over the case and made orders against Jegede, who was not a party in the case.

He said, as at when the post-judgment motion was filed in September by Poroye and others, Jegede was already the recognised candidate of the PDP, and that if there was a suit challenging his candidacy, he ought to have been made a party in the case.

Justice Saulawa noted that the judge of the lower court was in grave error when it recognised Ibrahim as the governorship candidate of the PDP, when he (the judge) knew that Ibrahim was never a party in the initial suit and the post-judgment proceedings that resulted in the ruling.

“Section 36 of the Constitution has forbidden the court below or any court from handing out order against somebody without hearing from him/her. It is, indeed, a fundamental doctrine of law that a party ought to be heard prior to determining a case against him/her,” Justice Saulawa said.

He also noted that the issue of 2016 election in Ondo State did not form part of the issues resolved in the June 29, judgment on which the October 14 ruling was based.

The judge said the June 29 judgment was targeted at 2019. He added that it was wrong for Justice Abang to have on his own, interpreted the judgment to affect the 2016 election.

Justice Saulawa, who faulted the trial judge for not entertaining arguments from parties on the issue, noted that “he (Justice Abang) voluntarily raised the issue and ruled. That is a violent attitudinal disposition to the rule of law.

“In this case, having extended the judgment to 2016 without inviting arguments from parties, has rendered the entire proceedings of October 14, 2016 a nullity,” Justice Saulawa said.

He faulted the trial judge for ordering INEC to accept Ibrahim as the party’s candidate, when he (the judge) knew that Ibrahim was a product of a purpotrted primary conducted by the state’s executive of the party.

“The primary election that was said to have been conducted by the so called state executive was not primary election at all because the Constitution has said who should conduct party’s primary.

“Any primary conducted in any state chapter of a state is not a legal primary,” Justice Saulawa said.

He also faulted the lower court’s admissions exhibits, some documents tendered by the Poroye factions, on which basis it (the lower court) accepted Ibrahim as a valid candidate even when he was not a party in the suit and never emerged from a valid primary.

He added that the lower court failed to be strictly guided in admitting the documents.

Justice Saulawa, who said the lower court lacked the jurisdictional competence to grant the prayers not sought for by the applicants, noted that the trial judge mistook his robe for that of father Christmas and handed out orders as Christmas gifts.

Justice Saulawa upheld the appeal and dismissed the objection raised by the respondents.

He however refrained from granting any consequential orders on the ground that the appellant did not pray for such.

Other members of the panel – Justices Ignatius Agube and Ita Mbaba-agreed with the lead judgment.

Members of the who condemned the conduct of the lawyers to Poroye and others, accused them of subjecting the panel to intimidation and embarrassment.

They awarded N50,000 cost against the 1st to 9th respondents in favour of the appellant.

Justice Mbaba particularly faulted the proceedings leading to the October 14 ruling, saying: “It is my view that everything done at the lower court was a charage and fraud.”

In the second judgment, the appellate court set aside the June 29, 2016 judgment of Justice Abang, which recognised the state executives of the Southwest states produced by the Ali Modu Sheriff factional leadership of the party on the ground that it was the true national leadership of the PDP.

The court held that the judgment obtained  by the factional state executives was fraudulently given as proceedings were conducted in the absence of the Makarfi group, against whom the judgement was directed.

Justice Mbaba, who read the lead judgment, resolved the four issues determined in favour of the appellants.

He held that Justice Abang lacked jurisdiction to have heard the case and made the orders.

“I think a little caution on the part of the lower court would have allowed him to hear the members of the Caretaker Committee before making the orders against them. Where fair hearing is not granted, the entire proceeding is a nullity,” he said.

Justice Mbaba held that the lower court was without the requisite jurisdiction to have granted the orders in the June 26 judgment, because the plaintiff’s in the case (who are 1st to 9th respondents in the appeal) lacked the locus standi to have sued.

He said what the plaintiffs did at the lower court was “a fraud”. He noted that they divided themselves into two and acted both as plaintiffs and defendants.

Justice Mbaba, who expressed displeasure over the way the lower court handled the case, noted that “the trial court appeared to be a willing party in the effort to achieve an ignoble goal.”

He allowed the appeal and awarded N100,000 cost against the 1st to 7th respondents.

The other two members of the panel agreed with Justice Mbaba’s lead judgment.

Anambra man of the year awardAnambra man of the year award
  • FaceBook
  • Twitter
  • Pin It
  • Linkedin
  • Buffer
  • WhatsApp

Comments are closed.

As you might have guessed...

We block adblockers here ourselves.

Please turnoff your ad blocking mode for viewing your site content

Ok. I turned off my ad blocker. Now let me in