There was wild jubilation in Akure, the Ondo State capital on Wednesday following the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Abuja which ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to declare Mr. Eyitayo Jegede as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the Saturday governorship election.
The Court of Appeal in Abuja has set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission to recognise Jimoh Ibrahim as the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate for the November 26 election in Ondo State.
The three-man panel of the appeal court led by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa, in a unanimous judgment delivered on Wednesday, upheld the appeal by Mr. Eyitayo Jegede,who was earlier dropped by INEC and replaced with Jimoh Ibrahim, as the governorship candidate of the party.
The Justice Saulawa panel resolved all the seven issues formulated for determination in favour of Jegede.
The panel ruled that Jegede’s right to fair hearing was breached by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja for making the October 14 order that affected the appellant when he was not a party before the court.
Justice Saulawa described the order made by Justice Abang as “violent attitudinal disposition to the rule of law”.
“The principle of natural justice requires that all parties must be heard before judgment is delivered,” Justice Saulawa ruled.
The appeal court also held that Justice Abang acted without jurisdiction when he made orders against those that were not parties before him.
The appeal court also nullified the primary said to have been conducted by the Biyi Poroye-led state executive of the Ali Modu Sheriff faction of the party which produced Ibrahim as the governorship candidate of the party in the state.
It described the primary that produced Ibrahim as “illegal contraption” with “no legal effect or equitable remedy”, adding that the only valid primary was the one conducted by National Working Committee of any political party.
He added that Justice Abang went ahead to grant orders in favour of Ibrahim who was not a party to the suit and no application was made in his favour.
On hearing the court judgement, women in the state trooped to the streets of Akure while some went to the office of the INEC and the PDP secretariat, Alagbaka to jubilate.
Leader of the women group, of the PDP, Mrs. Easter Ebiwonjumi, told our correspondent that the women in the state were happy about the court’s order.
She however called on the INEC to postponed the election.