The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave an order restoring jurisdiction to the Court of Appeal, Abuja, to determine all appeals arising from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leadership dispute.
Justice Walter Onnoghen, the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, led three other justices of the court to arrive at the decision.
The apex court dismissed all the motions filed by the factional chairman of PDP in the state, Biyi Poroye, and asked him to pay N250 fine.
The Appeal Court had on Oct. 18, suspended hearings into the various applications pending the decision of the apex court.
The Ali Modu Sheriff faction of the party had approached the apex court following the decision of the court of appeal to grant leave to Ahmed Makarfi faction to appeal against the decision of the Federal High Court.
The appellant had also challenged the decision of the court of appeal to allow Eyitayo Jegede to appeal against his substitution as PDP candidate for the forthcoming Ondo governorship election.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that on June 29, Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court upheld Sheriff as the Acting National Chairman of the party.
The decision bestowed on Sheriff’s faction of the PDP the right to conduct governorship primary of the party for the Nov. 26 Ondo State governorship election.
The appellate court had on Nov.11 granted the trio (Jegede, Makarfi and Obi), the leave to appeal against those decisions.
However, the Sheriff faction had immediately challenged the two rulings at the Supreme Court.
Mr Beloulisa Nwofor (SAN), counsel to Mr. Poroye, Ondo State Chairman of PDP, contended that the panel must stay proceedings pending the determinations of those interlocutory appeals.
Nwofor had argued that the court was stripped of its jurisdiction the moment the appeals were entered at the apex court.
Also, Mr Raphael Oluyede, counsel to the Sheriff-PDP, aligned himself with Nwofor’s objections.
Oluyede had added that it was trite in law to stay action once an appeal was entered against the decision of a lower court.
The panel was set to deliver judgment on the party’s governorship candidate crisis before a notice of a motion from the apex court was served on it.