Breaking: Ondo PDP Governorship Tussle: Appeal Court Dismisses Poroye’s Application to Disband Panel

The Special Panel of Court of Appeal, sitting in Abuja, Thursday dismissed the application by Ondo State factional Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prince Biyi Poroye.
Poroye had brought an application before the panel led by Justice Ibrahim Salauwa to disband itself because it was illegally set up and without jurisdiction.
In dismissing the application, the court said it lacked merit.
In the unanimous decision read by Justice Salauwa, said the President, Court of Appeal has the right to set up the panel just as any other panel to hear cases of litigants.
The court said the application was brought in bad faith – to act as a clog in the wheel of progress in other to frustrate cases before it.
Counsel to Poroye, Benson Nwofor, in a notice of motion, which he said he filed on November 3, said was in pursuance of Section 36 of 1999 Constitution as amended and Order 7 rule one of Court of Appeal of 2011.
He had prayed for order of the court to step aside the panel on eleven grounds.
“I want to submit that the rule of the decision to set up the panel was made by the President of Court of Appeal as her administrative capacity”, he averred
“I submit that the court has the right to set aside that decision, it is well settled in law of rules of natural justice as enshrined in the Constitution.”
Arguing further, he said there was no counter affidavit from all the respondents to the motion.
“The fact remains that the first respondent (Jegede) did not deny that he made representation to the President of the Court to constitute special panel.
“The President of Appeal Court ought to have asked the other side for we to respond to the request of Jegede upon receiving the letter. The implications is that the right of fair hearing is violated by not hearing from us”, he said.
He noted that the consequence of such decision was a breach of fair hearing.
“This is not based on merit, whether she was right or not but that the second party was unfairly treated. Please grant the application and return all casefiles be returned to her”, he said.
Counsel to Jegede, Chief Wole Olanipekun, responded that there was no counter affidavit because the motion was self serving.
“We are opposing the motion, and urging you to dismiss on the basis of the motion itself and on the ground of the motion itself.
“I submit there is nothing to counter in the motion. Paragraph four is self revealing and explosive.
“The 11th respondent (PDP) was the one who supplied the information in the affidavit. There is contrive application between the first and 11the respondent. Where is that letter written by President Court of Appeal setting up the panel.Section 128 (1) of the Evidence Act which deals with oral documentary evidence, says a document must be placed before the court.
“Where is that administrative decision? It is not before the court and the court cannot act on speculation.
Olanipekun also argured that the President of the Court of Appeal was not made a party in the case.
“Further more the President of Appeal Court is not a party in this case and so the court cannot set aside her decision.
“The court has no jurisdiction to contenance/ entertain the application how much more in granting it.
“Section 318 of the Constitution is not a decision of the institution it can never be set aside or appealed against.
“According to this application, it will amount to adjucationg its responsibility as conferred on you by section 40 of the Constitution,”, Olanipekun had argured.
Responding, Nwofor said facts admitted does not need any further prove. Having admitted that his client admitted meeting the President, Court of Appeal, does not demand prove again.
“It is unnecessary to drag the President out of office to come and be queried on the issue,” Nwofor said.
After listening to the arguments, the court had reserved ruling.

Author: News Editor

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