Following the sack of 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 judgment of the lower court.
The High Court, headed by Justice Adesola Sidiq, ordered the dissolution of the local government councils last week, on ground that PRP was not listed on the ballot paper during the election held in April, last year.
However, the state governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, dissolved the council’s officials across the 18 local government in the state and appointed Caretaker Committee to oversee the administration of the local governments.
The PDP, through its counsel, Olusola Oke, filed a fresh suit before the Appeal Court, saying 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 PRP, at the lower court, was denied legal representation of its 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 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.
According to the party, “the judge erred in law when he disallowed and prevented Femi Aborishade from appearing for and handling the appellant’s case.”
The PDP maintained that the judge also erred in law by imposing Ogodo on the party as a counsel despite the fact 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 judge erred when he failed to hear and/or closed his eyes against the appellant’s motion on notice dated 29th day of March, 2017, which it filed on March 30,” stating that the order of the lower court was against the weight of evidence before it.
The headed council chairmen had earlier obtained a judgment from the same state’s high court 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.