An Abuja division of the Federal High Court has refused an application brought by the governorship candidate of the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ondo State, seeking permission to appeal the court’s earlier decision.
The candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, had approached the court, presided over by Okon Abang, for permission to appeal its October 14 judgement.
Mr. Abang had in that judgement declared the governorship candidate from the rival faction led by former Borno State governor, Ali-Modu Sheriff, as the authentic PDP candidate for the November, 26 election in the state.
The decision followed his June 29 judgement in which the court declared the faction led by Mr. Sheriff as the authentic group of members of the PDP.
Mr. Jegede asked the court to allow him appeal the ruling.
In a judgement Thursday, Mr. Abang said Mr. Eyitayo lacked the locus standi to appeal the decision of the court.
He said section 31 of the Electoral Act only allows the party and not the candidate to contest the judgement.
“The only case where the applicant would have been considered as having a locus standi to contest the October 14 judgement is if he had taken part in the August 29 primaries conducted by Mr. Sheriff’s faction,” said Mr. Abang.
He said the record placed before his court did not show that Mr. Jegede was a sponsored candidate of the PDP in Ondo State.
Mr. Abang also said the notion of Mr. Jegede that the court denied him fair hearing when it gave its decision on October 14 after his (Jegede’s) name had been submitted to INEC as PDP flagbearer was wrong.
He said there was no record before his court, ahead of the October 14 ruling, which stated that Mr. Jegede’s name had been submitted to INEC.
He said the document now before the court shows that Mr. Jegede’s name was submitted to INEC as early as on October 5 and wondered why INEC failed to make mention of the submitted name in his court.
Mr. Abang also said the failure of Mr. Jegede to challenge the June 26 judgement, which formed the basis of the October 14 judgment, further rendered his application worthy of failing.
In a separate judgement; the court dismissed an application by the Makarfi-led faction seeking a stay of execution of the October 14 judgement.
The court also awarded a fine of N100, 000 in two tranches of N50, 000 against the lawyer who represented the Makarfi faction on Thursday.
Mr. Abang said N50, 000 would be paid by the counsel, Adeola Adedipe, to each of the two counsels, who represented both factions in the previous sitting.
Mr. Abang described the recent appearance of Mr. Adedipe as a reckless and hopeless abuse of judicial process, since the counsel was not a party during the court session where the said judgement was given.
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