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Candidate list: Supreme Court orders Ogun PDP to respond to national exco’s brief

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the Ogun State executive council of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who are mainly Senator Buruji Kashamu allied to respond to issues raised in the brief of argument filed by the National Chairman Uche Secondus led National Working Committee of PDP.

The PDP NWC who is the appellant in the suit is challenging the decision of the Federal High Court which ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to accept lists of candidates for elective offices from Adebayo Dayo led Ogun State Chapter of the PDP for the purpose of the 2019 general elections.

Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivor ordered that the Ogun State PDP executive council should file their brief within time allowed by rule to facilitate quick hearing of the appeal filed by the PDP National secretariat.

The PDP NWC in the appeal is challenging the decision of the Federal High Court which ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to accept lists of candidates for elective offices from Adebayo Dayo led Ogun State Chapter of the PDP for the purpose of the 2019 general elections.

The grouse of the Secondus led National Working Committee is that the High Court erred in law in the judgment delivered by Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos on the grounds that it is the national secretariats of parties that conduct primary elections and submit names of candidates to INEC and not state chapters.

The appellant (PDP) in the appeal is also challenging the refusal of the Court of Appeal to hear it as required by law.

Justice Rhodes-Vivor was however told by counsel to Ogun PDP, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN) that the appellant’s brief of argument was served on him on Monday and that he needed time allowed by law to file his own brief of argument for his client.

This prompted the 5 – man panel of the Apex Court to direct that the respondents’ brief of argument be filed within time allowed by law.

Emeka Etiaba (SAN), represented the PDP NWC at yesterday’s resumed hearing.

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos had on the 24th of June, 2016 delivered a judgment in which it upheld the validity of the Dayo-led Ogun State PDP Executive committee and ordered the national leadership of the PDP

and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) INEC to recognize and deal with the Dayo-led Exco till the expiration of their four years tenure in 2020.

Dissatisfied with the judgment of the High Court, the PDP under the erstwhile National Caretaker Committee lodged an appeal at the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal.

But after the Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal declared Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the authentic National Chairman of the PDP on the 17th of February, 2017, Sheriff caused a Notice of Withdrawal to be written to the court on behalf of the Party.

On the basis of this, the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal on the 4th May, 2017. A further application to have the dismissed appeal relisted was struck out on the 11th of July, 2018 and a cost of N200, 000 awarded against the PDP.

Further dissatisfied with the ruling of the Court of Appeal, which refused to relist the appeal, the PDP approached the Supreme Court asking it to reverse the decision of the Court of Appeal refusing to relist the dismissed appeal.

The national leadership of the party as represented by Mr. Emeka Etiaba (SAN) and Dr. Yemi Oke also filed motions for stay of execution of the judgment of the Federal High Court, Lagos, in Suit No.FHC/L/CS/636/2016 and accelerated hearing of the appeal.

Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN) led the legal team which comprised of Mr. John Odubela of Ricky Tarfa office for the Engr. Adebayo Dayo-led Ogun State PDP Exco

When the matter came up yesterday, the apex said it has no jurisdiction to grant the request for stay of execution of the judgment as requested by counsel to the Uche Secondus-led national leadership of the Party.

The five-man panel of the Supreme Court, which was chaired by the Honourable Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, told the appellant that the Supreme Court does not stay judgment of a trial court but that of the Court of Appeal.

Etiaba had prayed the Apex Court in a motion on notice he filed to stay the execution of the trial court judgment delivered by Justice Ibrahim Buba or in the alternative grant accelerated hearing of the appeal because of its adverse effect on the progress of PDP in Ogun State.

He contended that the judgment of the Federal High Court is liable to be stayed because, according to him, the judgment of the Supreme Court delivered in the matter of PDP and Senator Ali Modu Sheriff had put to rest the leadership tussle in the party.

Etiaba also pleaded for accelerated hearing of the appeal and the abridgment of time for the parties to file all their processes.

However, in a unanimous decision, the five-man panel of the Supreme Court agreed that they have no jurisdiction to grant the request of the appellant until the Court of Appeal has made a pronouncement on it.

This prompted Etiaba to withdraw the motions seeking to stay the judgment of the Federal High Court and accelerated hearing of the appeal. They were consequently struck out by the Court with a cost of 100, 000 to the three parties involved in the matter.

Justice Rhodes-Vivour, while striking out the motion held that it is incompetent and cannot be granted by the Apex Court.

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