By; ODEYEMI SAMUEL, Akure.
Notwithstanding the next step in pursuing his appeal proper, Eyitayo Jegede is effectively the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the November 26, 2016 governorship poll in Ondo State, says Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution (CDNDC).
The group said its position is predicated on the combined import of the latest ruling of the Court of Appeal in granting Jegede the leave to appeal Justice Okon Abang’s judgement and the well established decisions of the Supreme Court regarding fair hearing.
“In obedience to ethics of justice and fairness, the only proper and reasonable thing for INEC to do now is to reverse the electoral travesty it foisted on the people of Ondo State by re-listing the name of Eyitayo Jegede as the PDP candidate with immediate effect. Nothing more.
“The ruling of the Appeal Court has exposed the fact that there was no consent judgement before Justice Okon Abang and it also effectively settled the foundation of this case that Jegede was denied fair hearing and as such, no jury or institution can build something on nothing.
The Appeal Panel in its ruling held that a counter motion by Jimoh Ibrahim, Biyi Poroye and other defendants “smacks of gross incompetence and an irritant. Eyitayo’s right has been adversely affected and has the right to ventilate his grievances. To deny him this right is vexatious and oppressive and an attempt to pervert the course of justice. It is a mischief and the application it is a mischief and the application is dismissed. Eyitayo has the right of appeal. The application is absurd and strange. It is unimaginable.”
CDNDC in a statement signed by it Co-Convener, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, said that the landmark judgement of the Supreme Court in Bernard Ojeifo Longe versus First Bank of Nigeria Plc, has settled this matter on the alter fair hearing – which the appeal court held was denied Jegede.
The Supreme Court in reinstating Longe as the Managing Director of First Bank reached the following conclusions:
“A declaration that the Defendant’s Board of Directors cannot lawfully hold any meeting of the said Board without giving notice thereof to the Plaintiff and accordingly all decisions taken at any such meeting is unlawful, invalid, null and void and incapable of having any legal consequence;
“A declaration that in particular the decision of the Defendant’s Board of Directors held on the 13th of June 2002 to revoke the Plaintiff s appointment as Managing Director/Chief Executive is wrongful, unlawful, invalid, null and void and incapable of having any legal consequence;
“A declaration that any purported implementation of the said decision made by the Board on the 13thof June 2002 (including any appointment to the office held by the Plaintiff in the Defendant Company) is ineffective, unlawful and null and void;” the statement noted.
The coalition said that by this latest development, Eyitayo Jegede and his PDP supporters can effectively resume their campaigns across Ondo State, adding that “the expected subsequent-pronouncements by the court is fait accompli.
“This matter is settled, you are at liberty to go and resume your campaign across Ondo State, while your legal team continue the business with the court to seal a sweet victory,” CDNDC advised Jegede.
By; ODEYEMI SAMUEL, Akure.