Makarfi Insists Appeal Court Ruling Will End PDP Crisis

PDP, Ahmed Makarfi, Appeal CourtMembers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), led by the Caretaker Committee, have met with state governors and lawmakers from the party with a view to rescuing the PDP from collapse.

In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, noted that the leadership crisis rocking the party would soon be put to rest.

An Appeal Court in Port Harcourt is expected to deliver judgement on the leadership case involving the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Senator Makarfi led factions of the PDP.

The two factions have said that the judgement would be the end of internal litigation in the party.

Senator Makarfi said the caretaker committee was hopeful that the judgement at the Court of Appeal on the matter would be just and fast.

The Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has advised the leaders of the party to put their house in order, so as not to lose in future elections as it has experienced in recent times.

EFCC To Re-Arraign Former Oyo Governor Ladoja On Dec 14

EFCC To Re-Arraign Former Oyo Governor Ladoja On Dec 14A Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos has fixed December 14, for the re-arraignment of a former Governor of Oyo State, Rashidi Ladoja and one of his aides, Waheed Akanbi over an alleged 4.7 billion Naira fraud.

Justice Mohammed Idris fixed the date after ruling on an application by the EFCC seeking the issuance of a bench warrant on the two defendants for not making themselves available to answer to the charges against them.

Justice Idris turned down the application for the arrest of the defendants owing to the appearance of both men in court on Friday.

The court, however, refused the request of the defendants for a stay of proceedings in the matter pending the outcome of an appeal lodged at the Supreme Court against the ruling of the Lagos Division of the Appeal Court which ordered their trial.

The Appeal Court had held that the anti-graft agency has powers to prosecute them under the Money Laundering Prohibition Act of 2004.

Justice Idris therefore held that the request for a stay of proceedings was against the provisions of Section 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act of 2015.

In 2008, the EFCC had arraigned both men on a 10-count charge of laundering the 4.7 billion naira.

In the charge, the EFCC alleged that the duo conspired to convert properties and resources derived from an illegal act, with the intention of concealing their illicit origin.

The anti-graft agency also alleged that ex-Governor Ladoja used 42 million naira out of the proceeds to purchase an Armoured Land Cruiser SUV, and remitted about £600,000 to one, Bimpe Ladoja in London.

They had at the time challenged the charges and the powers of the EFCC to prosecute them but six years after, the Court of Appeal has paved the way for their re-arraignment.

Supreme Court Dismisses Second Appeal Filed By Sheriff-Led PDP

Supreme Court Dismisses Second Appeal Filed By Sheriff-Led PDPA five-member panel of justices of the Supreme Court has dismissed an application filed by the Modu-Sheriff led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asking it to evoke its disciplinary powers and disqualify the panel of the Appeal Court hearing the Ondo state PDP candidacy appeal.

In the application, counsel to the Sheriff-led PDP, Mr Beluolisa Nwufor, asked the court to set aside the November 16, 2016 proceedings of the Court of Appeal for being a nullity.

He argued further that the appellate court ought to have stayed proceedings on the matter, having been notified of an appeal against its decision at the Supreme Court.

Nwofor also prayed the court to disqualify the Appeal Court panel for holding parallel proceedings with the Supreme Court.

However, when it was pointed out to him that the said appeal is predicated on an earlier appeal which he requested to be withdrawn and which was subsequently dismissed, he insisted that the lower court judges erred.

In reaction to the application, counsel to the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led PDP, Mr Wole Olanipekun pointed that by virtues of the fact that he withdrew his applications earlier the appeal has become an academic exercise which the court ought not to entertain.

He therefore asked the court to dismiss the application.

In the lead ruling, the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onoghene, said that it was very clear that the dismissal of the motions for stay in which the orders in this motions were predicated had rendered the prayers one to three, sought by the Sheriff-led PDP academic.

He also added that it was on record that the justices who were empaneled to hear the motion emanating from the lower court were not doing so in their personal capacity and as such, joining them as party is an attempt to embarrass and scandalized the court and this should not be discouraged.

He went on to add that, if applicants are allowed to continue with the pranks in this circumstance there will be no end to litigation.

“I find no merit in this application and consequently dismiss the motion and order cost of 500,000 naira to the counsel to the first three respondents  and one million naira each to each of the three judges to be paid by counsel to Sheriff, Mr Beluolisa Nwofor personally to each of the judges.”

The Supreme Court has also given the Court of Appeal the nod to resume hearing of all appeals relating to the PDP governorship candidacy tussle in Ondo state.

This followed the withdrawal of 10 motions filed for stay of proceeding by the Ali-modu Sheriff faction which led to a stay of proceeding at the appellate court.

The Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria who presided over the proceedings, Justice Walter Onoghene, dismissed the motion and awarded a cost of 250,000 naira against those who filed them.

Justice Onoghene ordered the Appeal Court to resume hearing because the case is a pre-election matter.

Supreme Court Tells Appeal Court To Continue Hearing On Ondo PDP Crisis

Supreme Court Tells Appeal Court To Continue Hearing On Ondo Election MatterThe Supreme Court has given the Court of Appeal the nod to resume hearing of all appeals relating to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidacy tussle in Ondo state.

This followed the withdrawal of 10 motions filed for stay of proceeding by the Ali-modu Sheriff faction which led to a stay of proceeding at the appellate court.

The Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria who presided over the proceedings, Justice Walter Onoghene, dismissed the motion and awarded a cost of 250,000 naira against those who filed them.

Justice Onoghene ordered the Appeal Court to resume hearing because the case is a pre-election matter.

Counsel to the Sheriff-led PDP, Mr Beluolisa Nwofor, who earlier served the lower court the motions asked the Supreme Court to strike out the motion but the Supreme Court instead dismissed it.

The Appeal Court had adjourned indefinitely its judgment on the matter involving Mr Eyitayo Jegede’s appeal to reclaim the candidacy of the PDP in the November 26 governorship election.

This was after INEC replaced his name with that of Jimoh Ibrahim of the Modu-Sheriff faction as the party’s candidate in the election.

The judgment slated for delivery was put off by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa following a motion filed at the Supreme Court by the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff led-faction of the PDP asking the Appeal Court panel to hands off the matter.

The Court of Appeal had fixed Friday, November 18, 2016 to deliver judgment in respect of an appeal filed by Eyitayo Jegede against the decision of Justice Okon Abang of the  Federal High Court Abuja, which ordered the substitution of his name with that of Jimoh Ibrahim for the governorship election.

INEC To Go On With Ondo Governorship Election

INEC To Go On With Ondo Governorship ElectionThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says there is no going back on the date for the Ondo state governorship election that has been scheduled for November 26, 2016.

The INEC’s Director for Elections Monitoring, Mr Bala Shittu, gave the assurance at a conference with elections observer groups in Abuja.

According to him, INEC is ready for the conduct of the elections as scheduled even though it has one final stakeholders meeting in Akure, the Ondo state capital on Tuesday, Nov 22.

He also stated that the electoral body has done risk assessment for the state and has related its finding to security agents for proper security during the polls.

Indefinite Adjournment

The possibility of the election holding became bleak on Friday after the Court of Appeal adjourned judgment in the PDP governorship candidacy tussle indefinitely.

The Court had fixed Friday, November 18, 2016 to deliver judgment in respect of an appeal filed by Eyitayo Jegede against the decision of Justice Okon Abang of the  Federal High Court Abuja.

The judgment was put off by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa following a motion filed at the Supreme Court by the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff led-faction of the PDP asking the Appeal Court panel to hands off the matter.

In the motion, factional chairman of the party in Ondo state, Prince Biyi Boroye, accused the three-man panel of bias and prayed the Supreme Court to restrain the judges from further proceedings in the appeals.

The motion served in the panel about 7:30PM on Thursday night alleged that the three judges had betrayed their oath of office with the way the appeals were been handled and that they have refused to be bound by their own earlier orders.

PDP Crisis

INEC has been at the centre of the PDP crisis since its decision to recognise a factional candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election, Mr Jimoh Ibrahim.

The agency based its decision on the ruling of a Federal High Court in Abuja which recognised the Ali Modu-Sheriff faction of the party as the authentic one.

Justice Abang ordered INEC to recognise Mr Ibrahim as the PDP flag bearer for the election instead of Eyitayo Jegede of the Ahmed Makarfi group who was initially seen as the PDP candidate.

The court ordered to reinforce a verdict it earlier gave on June 29, which recognised the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff faction of the PDP and directed INEC to only deal with the faction instead of the Markafi group.

Since the release of INEC’s list of recognised candidates for the election, the Makarfi group, to which the Ondo state Governor, Olusegun Mimiko belongs, has been battling to have the ruling and the consequent INEC decision overruled.

The Jegede supporters have insisted that their man remained the authentic PDP candidate in Ondo, having emerged from a well attended and INEC-recognised primary election.

They vowed to explore all legal means to reclaim the mandate and present Eyitayo Jegede as the party’s candidate in the election.

A special panel of the Court of Appeal approved Mr Eyitayo Jegede’s request to appeal the judgement of the court that led to the substitution of his name with that of Mr Jimoh Ibrahim.

The panel, led by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa, said Mr Jegede had shown sufficient proof that the judgment of Justice Okon Abang recognising Senator Ali Modu Sherrif as the National Chairman of the PDP had grossly affected his rights.

The panel also dismissed an application filed by the factional chairman of the party in Ondo State, Mr Biyi Poroye, who is asking the new panel to recuse, on the ground of gross abuse of court process.

While dismissing the appeal, Justice Saulawa said that the application by Mr Poroye was borne out of mischief and deliberate calculation to frustrate the application for the leave of the court to appeal the Federal High Court’s judgment filed by Mr Jegede.

The Modu-Sheriff group reacted with accusations of bias against the Appeal Court panel and this led to the panel withdrawing from the case.

Ondo PDP Candidacy: Jegede Calls For Calm Over Appeal Court Adjournment

Ondo PDP, Eyitayo Jegede, Ahmed Makarfi
Mr Eyitayo Jegede (SAN)

Mr Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called for calm among his supporters following the decision of the Appeal Court to adjourn indefinitely its judgment on his appeal to reclaim the candidacy of the party in the November 26 governorship election.

The judgment slated for delivery was put off by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa following a motion filed at the Supreme Court by the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff led-faction of the PDP asking the Appeal Court panel to hands off the matter.

The Court of Appeal had fixed Friday, November 18, 2016 to deliver judgment in respect of an appeal filed by Eyitayo Jegede against the decision of Justice Okon Abang of the  Federal High Court Abuja, which ordered the substitution of his name with that of Jimoh Ibrahim for the governorship election.

Jegede, in a statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of his Campaign Organization, Kayode Fasua, said that he was not unmindful of the fact that the temporary setback is the handiwork of some anti-democratic elements hell bent on truncating his mandate for the November 26 polls.

He, however, said as a true believer in the rule of law and judiciary, he would be at the Supreme Court on Tuesday to thrash out issues raised by the appellants.

He said “the objective of the appellants is to stop a review of Abang’s contrived judgment through various baseless petitions, spurious blackmail and media propaganda”, adding that the day of reckoning is near for these anti-democratic elements.

Jegede appealed to his supporters and believers in his course that despite the hurt they feel, they should not take laws into their hands but remain resolute and intensify their door-to-door campaigns, restating that he will contest and win the upcoming poll.

“I call on our supporters to remain calm, and not be weighed down by the latest developments which I believe should only strengthen our resolve in ensuring that despite all contrivances and manipulations, we will contest and win the November 26 2016 governorship election.” he said

He added that his team of lawyers are working assiduously to ensure that the latest attempt to subvert his mandate, through several devious means of propaganda, blackmail and unprecedented assault against the judiciary is corrected using available legal means

“For us, there is no looking back. We remain resolute and focused in our desire to bring development, progress and prosperity to our people, this is our Article of Faith and with God, we will triumph,” he assured.

Jegede also promised to address a world press conference at the appropriate time.

 

Ondo PDP Crisis: Appeal Court Adjourns Judgment Indefinitely

Appeal Court Adjourns Judgment On Ondo PDP CrisisThe Court of Appeal has adjourned judgment in the Ondo PDP governorship candidacy tussle indefinitely.

The judgment slated for delivery was put off by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa following a motion filed at the Supreme Court by the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff led-faction of the PDP asking the Appeal Court panel to hands off the matter.

In the motion, factional chairman of the party in Ondo state, Prince Biyi Boroye, accused the three-man panel of bias and prayed the Supreme Court to restrain the judges from further proceedings in the appeals.

The motion served in the panel about 7:30PM on Thursday night alleged that the three judges had betrayed their oath of office with the way the appeals were been handled and that they have refused to be bound by their own earlier orders.

The three judges; Justice Ibrahim Saulawa, Ignatius Igwe-Agube and George Mbaba were joined as parties in the suit.

Justice Saulawa who announced the receipt of the motion described the move as politically motivated and diabolical.

He added that the panel was put in place on a rescue mission when the Justice Jummai Sänkey-led panel threw in the towel following accusations of bias and bribery.

The case he says will stand adjourned pending the decision of the apex court.

Ondo PDP Crisis: Court Reserves Judgement In Jegede’s Appeal

Ondo PDP, Eyitayo Jegede, Ahmed Makarfi
Mr Eyitayo Jegede

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has reserved judgment in an appeal filed by Eyitayo Jegede, challenging the judgment of the lower court that recognised Jimoh Ibrahim as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State.

Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja had ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognise Mr Ibrahim as the candidate of the PDP for the election.

The court’s order was adhered to by the electoral body which added Mr Jegede’s name as the candidate of the PDP to the list of persons vying for the governorship seat.

Mr Jegede in his appeal is asking the appellate court to set aside the decision of the lower court and also order INEC to restore his name as the candidate of the PDP in the polls.

Earlier on, the court struck out the appeal filed by Mr Ibrahim, seeking to be joined in an appeal filed by Mr Jegede of the Ahmed Markarfi-led faction.

Recession, Jimoh Ibrahim, Ondo PDP
INEC-recognised Ondo PDP Governorship Candidate, Jimoh Ibrahim

Mr Ibrahim, who lost his interlocutory application at the Court of Appeal, at the last sitting had his recent application thrown out, when his counsel Jadegoke Badejo, informed the court about his intention to “withdraw himself from the matter”.

Mr Badejo had earlier asked the court for an adjournment, for him to return the case file to his client because he was not interested to be a party in the matter, looking at how rowdy the matter had turned.

The Appeal Court panel led by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa subsequently upheld Badejo’s submission and equally struck out the application.

Court Reserves Ruling On Makarfi’s Suit Against Sherrif

Makarfi, PDP, Court of Appeal The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has reserved ruling in the suit filed by a factional chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi against the Senator Ali-Modu Sherif’s faction of the party.

The three-man panel of the Appeal Court presided over by Justice Hannah Sankey reserved the ruling after ‎taking arguments from counsel representing the factional chairmen of the party.

At the resumption of arguments, lawyer to Senator Makarfi informed the court of an application seeking for extension of time within which to seek the leave of the court to appeal against the judgment of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court Abuja which recognized Senator Ali Modu-Sherif as the chairman of the party.

Lawyers to Senator Sheriff and the PDP, however, opposed the application on the ground that the application is incompetent and that the applicants were not parties in the original suit at the lower court.

Justice Sankey, after listening to all the parties, announced that the reserved date for the ruling will be communicated to all ‎the parties.

Supreme Court Gives Reasons For Judgement On Kogi Governorship Tussle

Supreme Court, Kogi GovernorshipThe Supreme Court has given reasons why it upheld the election of Mr Yahaya Bello as the duly elected Governor of Kogi State.

The Court held that Mr‎ James Faleke, the deputy governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 governorship election cannot be declared winner of the poll having failed to participate in the primary elections of the All Progressives Congress.

The apex court, among others, said that Faleke, whose joint ticket with the governorship candidate of the party, late Prince Abubakar Audu, had garnered 240,873 votes before Audu died, cannot benefit from the vote or take the place of Audu, because he did not meet the condition precedent.

In the reasons, advanced for the summary judgment, delivered on September 20, Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, held that Faleke did not obtain nomination form, did not participate in the primary election and as such, cannot under any circumstances, be made the governorship candidate to replace Audu.

Besides, Justice Kekere-Ekun said that before the sudden death of Audu, after the November 21 governorship election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), had already declared the election inconclusive and that since the election, had not been completed and the final result issued by the electoral body, Faleke, as a running mate, cannot claim ‎victory in the election.

The apex court upheld the substitution of Yahaya Bello to replace Audu because in the face of the law, Bello obtained nomination form, took part in the primary election and came second, unlike Faleke who did not meet that condition.

Faleke’s Argument

Mr James Faleke of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had challenged the decision of the Kogi State governorship election petition tribunal which upheld the election of Yahaya Bello as the validly elected governor.

Mr James Falake was the deputy governorship candidate to late Abubakar Audu who died before the conclusion of the governorship election that was to see him elected as governor.

Yahaya Bello was then presented by the party, All Progressives Congress (APC) as replacement for Audu, a decision Mr Faleke challenged, arguing that he should have stepped into the position, having together with the late Audu gone through the election process.

He approached the Supreme Court after being dissatisfied with the judgement of the election tribunal and Appeal Court which both upheld Yahaya’s eligibility.

There had been four appeals against the Court of Appeal rulings with the Supreme Court expected to decide if Mr Bello should continue as Kogi governor or vacate office.

One of the appeals was by the immediate past governor of the state and candidate of the opposition PDP, Idris Wada.

The Supreme Court went ahead to uphold the election of Mr Yahaya Bello as the duly elected Governor of Kogi State.