PDP takes Ondo government to Appeal Court over council

Consequent upon the sack of the 18 local government chairmen in Ondo State by an Akure High Court, the Ondo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has dragged the state government, the Ondo State Independent National Electoral Commission, (ODIEC), and the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), to the Court of Appeal, asking the appellate court to reverse the judgement of the lower court.

Justice Adesola Sidiq, who presided over the sitting, had ordered the dissolution of the local government councils last week on the grounds that PRP was not listed on the ballot paper of the April election of last year.

However, the state governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, dissolved the council’s officials across the 18 local governments in the state and appointed Caretaker Committee to oversee the administration of the local government in the state.

A fresh suit was filed by the PDP before the Appeal Court through its council, Olushola Oke. The suit contained complaints that the Court erred in law by imposing a counsel on the PRP as against the real counsel recognised by the leadership of PRP.

The PDP complained that the appellant at the lower court (PRP) was denied the legal representation of their lawyer, Mr Femi Aborishade, saying “another lawyer, Mr Segun Ogodo, was imposed and foisted on the appellant (PRP).”

The PDP noted the bias of the Court and the learned judge to have disallowed the PRP’s real lawyer who was briefed by the leadership of the party to represent it in the course of trial.

The party averred “the learned trial judge erred in law when he disallowed and prevented Femi Aborishade to appear for and handle the appellant’s case.”

The PDP maintained that the judge also erred in law by imposing Ogodo on the party as a counsel despite that the national chairman of the party, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, disowned Ogodo as the party’s lawyer but briefed only Aborishade and authorised to represent the party in the Court.

Again, the PDP averred that “the learned judged erred when he failed to hear and or closed his eyes against the appellant’s motion on notice dated March 29, 2017, which it filed on March 30”³, stating that the order of the lower court was against the weight of evidence before it.

The PDP council chairmen had earlier obtained a judgement from the same state’s High Court presided over by the former Chief Judge of the state, Justice Olasheinde Kumuyi, which prevented the state government from sacking or dissolving the 18 local councils until their tenure expires on April 25, 2019.

The state government, on the election of Akeredolu of the rival All Progressives Congress (APC), as governor, had proceeded to the Court of Appeal to challenge the Kumuyi verdict.

But as the appellate court began hearing on the appeal, Akeredolu was reported to have frozen the accounts of the councils, thus sparking protests among its appointed officials as their salaries and allowance were stopped.



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