The Court of Appeal in Abuja will on Tuesday continue hearings into applications relating to the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State.
The court is also expected to make some decisions on the various applications on Tuesday.
The appellate court had during its session on Monday heard arguments from various parties on applications seeking to determine the status of earlier decisions made by an Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, FHC.
Monday’s session, which lasted over 10 hours, was meant to ensure that all arguments were heard, but had to be adjourned following delays caused by fresh applications, among other factors.
Applications were brought by Eyitayo Jegede, a governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ondo.
Mr. Jegede is of the PDP faction led by Ahmed Makarfi and seeks to displace Jimoh Ibrahim, the governorship candidate from the faction led by former Borno Stare governor, Ali Sheriff.
Further applications were also made on Monday from parties in the matter.
The counsel representing Mr. Ibrahim had asked the court to dismiss the applications made by Mr. Jegede for lacking in merit.
The counsel, Beluolisah Nwofor, told the appellate court that the applications were poorly presented, thereby making them dead on arrival.
“My lord the relief number one is incompetent for the following reasons: it does not identify the particular suit number; the parties to the suit and the title of the suit for which the ruling was delivered, in which he seeks to appeal,” said Mr. Nwofor.
He further said Mr. Jegede did not contest the decision of the lower court during proceedings at the Federal High Court.
Mr. Nwofor, therefore, contended that since the parties involved had not contested the decision at the lower court; what it implies is that the parties have consented to the ruling of the court. Therefore, any attempt to appeal before a higher court should first emanate from a motion seeking leave of court to appeal.
Mr. Nwofor argued that such a motion has not been made.
The lawyer further argued that the October 14 decision of the lower court, which formed the basis of the application at the appellate court, is an interlocutory decision. He said the decision sprang from the June 29 ruling by the FHC, and therefore the motion seeking to appeal against it should have come within 14 days after October 14.
Responding to arguments raised by the respondent counsel, Wole Olanipekun who stood in for Mr. Jegede said the application challenging the October 14 decision was made on October 27, and was therefore within stipulated time.
He added that the decision of the lower court to endorse Mr. Ibrahim was taken after the statutory period when the electoral commission, INEC, would have taken a flag bearer
“The door was already shut-after the period for which INEC could substitute a candidate.
“All other candidates in the list were nominated by their parties, only this (Jimoh Ibrahim) was nominated by court; that is what we seek to appeal against.
After listening to arguments from both counsel, the panel of three justices, led by Ibrahim Salauwa, decided to continue with other applications on Tuesday.
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