Friday, 28 October 2016

Court of Appeal defers ruling on Makarfi, Obi’s application

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 (NAN), reports that Sen. Ahmed Makarfi and Sen. Ben Obi are seeking leave to appeal the June 29 decision of the Federal High Court that affirmed 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.

NAN reports that the respondents are Sheriff, INEC, PDP, among others.

Mr Dayo Akinlaja (SAN), 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 Nov.26 governor 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 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, Akinlaja said it was immaterial, adding that 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.

Dr Alex Izinyon (SAN), counsel to 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.

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,’’ Izinyon said.

NAN reports that the court granted applications for withdrawal of two motions filed by counsel to the applicants.

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

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

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

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

NAN also reports that appearance of Mr Olagoke Fakunle (SAN) and Mr Robert Erakpo to hold PDP’s brief forced the court to adjourn a motion filed by the party.

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