Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Supreme Court Dismisses Second Appeal Filed By Sheriff-Led PDP

five-member panel of justices of the Supreme Court has dismissed an application filed by the Modu-Sheriff led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asking it to evoke its disciplinary powers and disqualify the panel of the Appeal Court hearing the Ondo state PDP candidacy appeal.

In the application, counsel to the Sheriff-led PDP, Mr Beluolisa Nwufor, asked the court to set aside the November 16, 2016 proceedings of the Court of Appeal for being a nullity.
He argued further that the appellate court ought to have stayed proceedings on the matter, having been notified of an appeal against its decision at the Supreme Court.

Nwofor also prayed the court to disqualify the Appeal Court panel for holding parallel proceedings with the Supreme Court.

However, when it was pointed out to him that the said appeal is predicated on an earlier appeal which he requested to be withdrawn and which was subsequently dismissed, he insisted that the lower court judges erred.

In reaction to the application, counsel to the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led PDP, Mr Wole Olanipekun pointed that by virtues of the fact that he withdrew his applications earlier the appeal has become an academic exercise which the court ought not to entertain.

He therefore asked the court to dismiss the application.  In the lead ruling, the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onoghene, said that it was very clear that the dismissal of the motions for stay in which the orders in this motions were predicated had rendered the prayers one to three, sought by the Sheriff-led PDP academic.

He also added that it was on record that the justices who were empaneled to hear the motion emanating from the lower court were not doing so in their personal capacity and as such, joining them as party is an attempt to embarrass and scandalized the court and this should not be discouraged.

He went on to add that, if applicants are allowed to continue with the pranks in this circumstance there will be no end to litigation.

“I find no merit in this application and consequently dismiss the motion and order cost of 500,000 naira to the counsel to the first three respondents  and one million naira each to each of the three judges to be paid by counsel to Sheriff, Mr Beluolisa Nwofor personally to each of the judges.”

The Supreme Court has also given the Court of Appeal the nod to resume hearing of all appeals relating to the PDP governorship candidacy tussle in Ondo state.

This followed the withdrawal of 10 motions filed for stay of proceeding by the Ali-modu Sheriff faction which led to a stay of proceeding at the appellate court. The Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria who presided over the proceedings, Justice Walter Onoghene, dismissed the motion and awarded a cost of 250,000 naira against those who filed them.

Justice Onoghene ordered the Appeal Court to resume hearing because the case is a pre-election matter.

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