The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja today, further dashed the hopes of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State of retaining his seat as it threw away his appeal against the judgment of the Federal High Court. This may have brightened the chance of Dr. Olusegun Michael Abraham in his intentions to have the APC’s governorship nomination of the governor nullified in his favour.
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had on November 9, 2018 dismissed all grounds of objections raised by the lawyers of Governor Akeredolu and those of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in a Suit Number FHC/ABJ/CS/788/2016.
Dissatisfied with the ruling, Akeredolu and APC filed Appeal Nos CA/A/1177/2018 and CA/1178/2018 respectively. The appellants argued that the High Court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the matter been an intra-party affair and that the plaintiff lacks the locus standi to file the case (even though Abraham contested the same primary election). The arguments were all dismissed by the trial court.
Justice Adamu Jauro, leading a 3man panel of the Court of Appeal struck out the appeals filed by Governor Akeredolu and the APC on the ground that the filling of the appeals is contrary to the spirit and letters of Section 285 (8, 11, 12) of the 1999 Constitution of the FRN (4th Alteration, No 21) ACT 2017.
The Court further held that the appeals are frivolous and while striking them out admonished counsel to desist from filing processes that could take away the confidence of citizens from the judicial system. He thereby directed parties to return to the Federal High Court for hearing and determination of the matter in accordance with the constitution.
Meanwhile, the case has been fixed for 15 and 31 January, 2019 for continuation of hearing by the Federal High Court.
The Federal High Court had rejected Akeredolu’s arguments that the suit relates to issues that are internal to the party and that it was inchoate among others.
Abraham is seeking the nullification of Akeredolu as governorship candidate of the APC after the primary election which held September 3, 2016. He is also seeking to be returned winner of same on the grounds that the delegates list and the process were manipulated illegally in favour of the governor.