6 February 2011

Nigeria: Ogun PDP Crisis - Daniel's Faction Fails to Get Court Injunction

Moves by the Gov. Gbenga Daniel-led faction of the PDP in Ogun to upturn an earlier ruling of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has suffered a major setback.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta, on Friday, refused to grant an ex- parte injunction sought by the faction to compel INEC to recognise its own list.

NAN also reports that the High Court in Abuja had on Jan.26 restrained INEC from recognising the list forwarded to it by the faction which had Mr Gboyega Isiaka as its gubernatorial candidate.

Consequently, the Commission had, in obedience to the court ruling, recognised the one submitted to it by the Jubril Martins-Kuye faction, with Gen. Adetunji Olurin (rtd.) as the gubernatorial candidate.

Isiaka and 38 others had approached the court, seeking to restrain INEC from substituting the list submitted by the Martins-Kuye faction with the other faction.

NAN reports that the two factions had engaged each other in battle of wits, apparently to have their respective lists of candidates for the April elections recognised by INEC.

Since the Abuja Federal High Court had ruled in favour of the Martins-Kuye faction, the Daniel faction had reportedly been making surreptitious moves to outwit the former and ensure recognition of its candidates.

However, the move suffered a setback, as Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court in Abeokuta turned down the request, insisting that the respondents be properly put on notice.

"As soon as the respondents are properly put on notice, the court will take proper decision," the judge ruled, after a sitting which lasted about 15 minutes.

Ofili-Ajumogobia, who said that she was aware that a similar matter was before a Federal High Court in Abuja, said she will like to avoid confusion on the matter, especially given its sensitive nature.

The Defence Counsel, Mr Ajibola Oloyede, told newsmen after the court sitting, that with the move, the plaintiff only wanted to drag the judiciary into political contest and thereby pitch the judges against each other.

"Unfortunately for them, they came before a judge who knows her onions and who quickly dismissed their application," he said.

However, counsel to the plaintiff, Dr Yemi Oke, said that the application was aimed at restraining INEC from taking further action on the list of candidates it had earlier approved.

"The matter is still pending and INEC cannot substitute other names contrary to the list forwarded to it by the party," Oke said.


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