By: Ade Adeleke
The first runner-up in the September 3 2016 governorship primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo state, Dr Olusegun Abraham has expressed optimism that he will get justice in a suit challenging the victory of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu over the party’s ticket, pleading with the people to remain hopeful on his case in court.
In a statement issued by his Special Assistant on political matters, Olatunde Azeez and made available to newsmen in Akure on Sunday, Abraham said the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had ruled that the case was still intact contrary to the fact that the Supreme court had terminated it.
Already, the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had rejected the request of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to stop the proceedings and termination of the suit by the runner-up in the 2016 governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress(APC) Olusegun Abraham.
Abraham is challenging Akeredolu’s emergence as APC’s candidate in the 2016 governorship polls.
The petitioner in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/788/2016 was seeking the nullification of APC’s September 3,2016 governorship primary from which Akeredolu emerged as the party’s candidate on the ground that it was allegedly manipulated.
One of the counsel to the respondent, Olumide Olujimi explained that the case had been struck out by the Supreme Court on March 5, on the ground that Abraham approached the court, 28 days after the primary election instead of the stipulated 14 days.
However, the Presiding Judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba rejected the report filed by Akeredolu’s counsel, Akin Olujimi(SAN) for lack of merit because the affidavit was not attached to it.
The Judge said before taking a decision, he wanted to study the judgment, even though, he said it was not made available in the court.
Besides, he said he would examine the ground in which the case was terminated by the Supreme Court, when Abraham’s witnesses had been mounting the box and cross-examined by Akeredolu’s lawyers.
He, therefore, adjourned the case till May 28 for continuation in a way of granting the prayers of one of the counsels to Abraham, Phillip Emmanuel.
Emmanuel had earlier sought for an adjournment to study the recent Supreme Court pronouncement saying it had ‘overruled’ itself in a related matter on March 27, that had to do with the new Electoral law in Ekiti state.
Abraham said many lawyers across the country were studying the purported ruling of the Supreme Court with the consciousness that it would not give verdict that would be contrary to the constitution of Nigeria.
According to him, from all indications, what Supreme Court struck out may be the Akeredolu’s case of preliminary objection which the fourth amendment forbids any court to entertain.
He expressed the belief that the Judiciary will continue to be trusted to save Nigeria’s democracy.