…Says Justice Okon Abang’s judgment on the matter was misplaced and most fraudulent
…Describes as “illegal contraption” the primary that produced Jimoh Ibrahim
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has set aside the ruling of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court which ordered the replacement of the name of Eyitayo Jegede with that of Jimoh Ibrahim as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the November 26 governorship election in Ondo state.
Jegede, who belongs to the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the party, had in his appeal challenged his replacement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with Ibrahim of the Ali Modu Sheriff camp of the party as the governorship candidate for the election.
Ruling on the appeal on Wednesday, the Justice Ibrahim Saulawa-led panel of the Court of Appeal ordered INEC to reinstate Jegede as the authentic PDP standard bearer, stressing that the replacement of Jegede’s name with Ibrahim’s without hearing Jegede was “breach of fair hearing.”
The appellate court held that the order of the Justice Okon Abang-led Federal High Court upon which INEC based its action was “violent attitudinal disposition to rule of law” adding that the judgment was “misplaced and most fraudulent.”
“The principle of natural justice requires that all parties must be heard before judgment is delivered,” declared Saulawa.
The justices also held that Justice Abang in his post judgement order of October 14 targeted the November 2016 election adding that he committed a grievous error when he replaced Jegede with Ibrahim
A panel member Mbaba said proceedings before justice Abang was a “charade and fraud”.
It would be recalled that the Supreme Court had earlier struck out a stay of execution motion filed by the self-acclaimed PDP chairman in Ondo State, Biyi Poroye and ordered the Appeal court to go ahead with ruling on the case between Jegede and Ibrahim.
The Supreme Court said there was no way it could stop the second panel from ruling on the case between Jegede and Ibrahim after the first panel stepped down.
The acting chief justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen who presided over the hearing challenged Poroye’s counsel: “Tell us where in the constitution why we should punish those justices. You can’t box the lower court into a corner and be asking the Supreme Court for withdrawal of motions.” “Will angels come down to adjudicate your case after you blackmailed the first panel and also raised eyebrow against the second panel?” Justice Mohammed Ibrahim Tanko added.
The court also awarded a fine of N250, 000 against Poroye and others that filed the motion.
Recall that Poroye had filed a suit against justice Jummai Sankey of the Appeal panel set up to look into the appeals brought to the court against the Judgement of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court FHC which INEC relied on to substitute Jegede’s name with that of Jimoh Ibrahim as the true candidate of the party in the election fixed for Saturday, November 26, 2016.