Ondo PDP Governorship Candidate Tussle: Why Justice Abang Disqualified Self

Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court, Abuja, Thursday, disqualified himself from the case instituted by Peoples Democratic Party chieftain and business mogul, Ibrahim Jimoh agaist the leadership of Ahmed Makarfi-led PDP Caretaker Committee, in the Ondo State governorship candidate tussle between the two factions.
In a ruling Thursday, Abang who is a vacation Judge said due to the fact that the annual vacation of judges would end on September 9 and he would begin his from September 12, the one week left for him would be too short to preside over the case.
He said he would have to refer the case file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for reassignment.
Jimoh, who belongs to the Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff faction of PDP had sought for an interlocutory injunction against Makarfi-led faction from conducting the party’s governorship primary election for Ondo state on August 22.
The Makarfi faction of the party had on August 22, had its version of the PDP primary election despite the matter being in court.
And Eyitayo Jegede emerged from that primary as candidate in the November 26 governorship election in the state, while Jimoh emerged the candidate of the Sheriff-led faction primary held in Ibadan, August 29.
However, Abang told the parties if not satisfied with his ruling, they should optionally, within seven days ‘the defendant may file a counter affidavit on the application or the plaintiff may seek leave of the court on the matter’
Earlier, counsel to the plaintiff, O. Oyelami prayed the court for a short adjournment for hearing on the motion of injunction and interlocutory application filed by his team.
He also prayed the court to use its discretion allow his team adopt their processes on the matter.
But in his objection counsel to PDP, Ifedayo Adedikpe said since the plaintiff claimed to have adhered to substituted service as ordered by the court, progress can only be made on the matter if the court is satisfied by all verifiable evidence of compliance.
Adedikpe however told the court to consider the letters of Order 7 sub rule 1 of the Federal High Court procedure rule, 2009.
He said: “A defendant served shall within 30 days be allowed to enter his appearance before the court.”
Adedikpe said, while he does not object to an adjournment as proposed by the plaintiff, he expected the court to allow the defendants 30 days to make its appearance.
He further said, he expected Ibrahim’s counsel to draw the attention of the court to the fact that his interlocutory application being served had been overtaken by events – the already conducted party primary election by Makarfi-led faction in Ondo State.

Author: News Editor

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