The Court of Appeal has granted Eyitayo Jegede leave to appeal the decision of the Federal High Court Abuja under Justice Okon Abang, which recognised Jimoh Ibrahim as the PDP candidate for the Nov. 26 governorship election in Ondo State.
Jegede emerged the candidate of the party in the congress conducted by the Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee of the PDP. Jimoh Ibrahim is the candidate of the Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff faction of the party.
The Special Panel of the Court of Appeal in Abuja chaired by Justice Ibrahim Salauwa granted Jegede the leave.
Giving ruling on Jegede’s motion, Salauwa held that the application had merit. He said it was clear that the decision of the High Court, which recognised Ibrahim as the PDP candidate for the Ondo state governorship poll had hurt the applicant grievously.
“All the prayers made by the applicant are hereby granted.
“The court has seen the need to depart from the rules and therefore, the record transmitted from the trial court in respect of this case is deemed to have been filed.
“The parties are ordered to exchange processes within 24 hours to set the stage for the hearing of the substantive appeal,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Jegede had challenged the ruling by Justice Okon Abang ordering INEC to recognise Jimoh Ibrahim as the PDP candidate for the Ondo state governorship election.
The panel also dismissed an application filed by the Chairman of Ondo State PDP, Biyi Poroye and 10 others asking for the disbandment of the panel.
In his ruling, the Judge held that the application lacked merit and therefore should not be allowed to stand.
He said the motion lacked all material facts, adding that all the issues raised by the applicants were mere speculation.
“No party in a matter is empowered by law to challenge administrative decisions of heads of court.
“The President of the Court of Appeal is responsible for assigning cases.
“We do not want to deliberate on the reasons why the first panel rescues itself from determining these appeals; we believe this panel has the jurisdiction to treat these matters,’’ he said.
The respondents are to reply within three days
Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, Sen. Ben Obi, Biyi Poroye, Eyitayo Jegede, and Jimoh Ibrahim are all parties in the matter.
The Executive of PDP South West Zone and Ondo State Executive members of the party were also listed as parties.