Court Dismisses Sheriff-led Faction’s Application for INEC Recognition in Ondo

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday dismissed a motion filed by Prince Biyi Poroye and his group (loyal to Senator Ali Modu-Sherif) seeking an order of the court compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognise it as the authentic executive committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo state.
Poroye and his group had, in the motion, which has the PDP, INEC, along with others as defendants, prayed the court for an order of mandamus compelling the electoral body to give his executive committee recognition as the original executive of the party in Ondo State.
The motion seeking an order of mandamus filed by the applicants was founded on the judgment delivered by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja, where-in he held that Ali Modu Sheriff was the authentic National Chairman of the PDP.
His grounds was that there was an order of the Lagos Division of the court presided over by Justice Ibrahim Buba, that restrained the PDP from holding the convention where Senator Ahmed Makarfi and Senator Ben Obi emerged as national Chairman and Secretary of the National Caretaker Committee respectively, having purportedly dissolved the Ali Modu Sheriff leadership.
Sheriff, had approached the court with a suit challenging the decision of the party to appoint Ahmed Makarfi as Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the party to organise the party’s convention.
Justice Abang, held that the Makarfi-led caretaker committee was a product of impunity and nullified the convention that produced the caretaker committee.
The matter went to the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, which, in its judgment, declared Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), of the Makarfi-led caretaker committee as the rightful candidate of the PDP November 26, 2016 governorship election in Ondo state.
The appellate Court also recognised the Markafi led caretaker committee as the national executive of the PDP, having set aside the October 29,. 2016 Judgment of Justice Abang which declined to recognize them as National Officers of the party..
The three-member panel of Justices of the Court of Appeal, presided by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa vacated Justice Abang’s judgment which directed INEC to recognise Jimoh Ibrahim (loyal to Senator Ali Modu-Sherif faction of the party) as PDP’s governorship candidate for the election.
In his judgment delivered Wednesday, Justice John Tsoho said the preliminary objection of the respondents in the suit is sustained.
The respondents had, in their preliminary objection, challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the motion filed by the Sheriff’s faction of PDP in Ondo state.
Justice Tsoho dismissed the motion of the applicants, adding that the Supreme Court decision in the matter was unequivocal, that, it is only a primary election conducted by the national executive committee of a party that is valid.
He said the court is not bound by the judgment which the applicants seek to take benefit from because it is a judgment of a court of coordinate jurisdiction.
“In the light of the foregoing. I hold that the applicants do not have any legal right to support their application for mandamus.
“The applicants’ motion lacks merit and it is hereby dismissed’, the Judge held.

Author: News Editor

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