Home » Latest Politics, Oyo, State News » APRIL POLLS: Court vacates order against Alao-Akala, Omisore

APRIL POLLS: Court vacates order against Alao-Akala, Omisore

THE coast became clear for the Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr Dimeji Bankole  and the Oyo State governor, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, to contest the April elections on the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday, as the Speaker’s name was substituted for the name of Mr Segun Alawode.

This is just as  the court order restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising the Oyo State governor, Chief Alao-Akala as a candidate was vacated.

Alawode had been presented by the Olusegun Obasanjo faction of the party in Ogun State as its candidate  for the Abeokuta South Federal Constituency in Ogun State, while Bankole’s name was  submitted alongside others by the Joju Fadairo faction of the party, but the INEC, restrained by a court order, had to drop the list for the one submitted by the Obasanjo faction.

It took the intervention of the party’s hierarchy to persuade Alawode, who had earlier vowed not to step down for the speaker,  to withdraw his candidature for Bankole.

By the close of work on Monday, the substitution had already been perfected at the INEC office in Abuja.

Also, while a Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja,  ordered the INEC to recognise Senator Grace Bent as the candidate for Adamawa South senatorial district on the ticket of the PDP, a state High Court, sitting in Osogbo, vacated an order of interim injunction restraining the party from recognising Senator Iyiola Omisore as its candidate for Osun East senatorial district (story on page 10).

A Federal High Court, sitting in Ibadan, vacated an interim injunction restraining the INEC from accepting Alao-Akala’s nomination as the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in Oyo State.

Justice Johnson Shakarbo vacated the order he gave on Tuesday, February 1, 2011 during the continued hearing of a suit filed by 37 factional members of the PDP in the state, who are challenging the return bid of Governor Alao-Akala.

The claimants in the suit include Elder Wole Oyelese, Alhaji Yekini Adeojo, Alhaji Hazeem Gbolarumi, and Senator Lekan Balogun, while the defendants are INEC, the Oyo State PDP, its chairman, Chief Dejo Afolabi, and Governor Alao-Akala.

The complaint of the claimants is that the PDP congresses, held from December 29 to 31, 2010, were conducted by a faction of the party led by Governor Alao-Akala and should not be regarded as those of Oyo State PDP as a whole.

On the strength of the claimants’ complaints, Justice Shakarbo restrained INEC from accepting the names of candidates who emerged through the congresses for any election in Oyo State.

At the resumed hearing of the suit on Monday, the lead counsel for the claimants, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, told the court that a notice of discountenance had been filed against the third defendant, Chief Dejo Afolabi, and the state executive of the PDP, in court on Monday morning.

Responding, Mr Lateef Fagbemi, who led Chief Bolaji Ayorinde and some other lawyers for the third defendant, said the court should not vacate the order against his client, but against other defendants in the case, since the order made on February 1 was jointly made against all the four defendants.

In his submission, the lead counsel for Governor Alao-Akala, Chief Richard Akinjide, supported the position canvassed by Mr Fagbemi, adding that, “the game they (the claimants) are playing is to buy time. They are playing a spoiler’s game. Here is a group of people who don’t want their party to win.”

Also, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Adeniyi Akintola, announced his appearance for two PDP members, Mr Tayo Sarumi and Robert Atilola, seeking to be joined as plaintiffs in the suit.

This prompted the judge to declare that he would vacate the order, because another group of litigants might come to the court to seek to be joined as claimants, thereby prolonging the suit, since an interim order of injunction had been granted against some parties in the matter.

Justice Shakarbo then asked Mr Akeredolu who among his clients were contesting for the gubernatorial ticket of the party.

Akeredolu answered that the first three plaintiffs (Oyelese, Adeojo and Gbolarumi) were contestants.

Court: Then I will adopt the same principle as in (Celestine) Omehia’s case in this matter, so, who wins at the end will step in.

Akeredolu: We don’t want Omehia’s case, the Supreme Court has said it should not be used to decide any case. Your order is made jointly and severally, so you can strike out the name of the third defendant and vacate the order against him.

After listening to the submission of all the lead counsel in the matter, Justice Shakarbo, while vacating the order, said since some of the plaintiffs were seeking elective posts on the ticket of the PDP, just like the fourth defendant (Governor Alao-Akala), their interest would not be served by the continued retention of the order.

The judge said the order granted by him on February 1 “is hereby vacated,” adding that the plaintiffs and the fourth defendants (Governor Alao-Akala) were free to approach the first defendant (INEC) for the purpose of nomination.

Justice Shakarbo added that his order was without prejudice to the committal proceedings and the substantive suit.

After vacating the order, Chief  Akinjide informed the court that he was challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case.

Responding, the judge said “if you had told me this earlier, I would not have made the order I made this morning.”

Reacting to the vacation of the order, Akeredolu faulted the decision of the judge to vacate the order, saying that “Your Lordship is wrong in this matter, but we know the next step to take, because you have made an order without an application to that effect.”

The case was then adjourned until February 21.

Reacting, Governor Alao-Akala, through his Special Adviser on Public Communications, Dotun Oyelade, said the victory at the Federal High Court spoke volumes for the futility of the opposition to stop his second term bid.

“Even before the High Court ruling, they had engaged in some hare-brained character assassination in form of production of illegal audio/visual tapes and spreading of false rumours to malign the person of the governor and turn the tide against him.

“Just as that propaganda has failed, so has the litigation which was their last-ditch attempt to abort Alao-Akala’s second term.

“The legal victory today, coming barely 50 days to the gubernatorial election, has decidedly separated those with the winning mentality from professional agitators,” he said.

-Tribune

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Posted by on Feb 15 2011. Filed under Latest Politics, Oyo, State News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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