Ondo PDP crisis: Abang hands-off Jimoh Ibrahim’s suit

….returns case file to the Chief Judge

Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja Thursday, hands off the suit instituted by Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim seeking to stop the Senator Ahmed Makarfi led executive committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from conducting primary election for the purpose of electing candidate for the state governorship election slated for November 26, 2016 in Ondo State.

When the matter came up for hearing Thursday, the trial judge recalled that the case was filed on August 9, 2016 before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, who granted leave for the matter to be heard during vacation.

Abang said his court inherited the file on the 17th of August, 2016 and granted leave to the plaintiffs to serve the respondents throughsubstituted means on August 29, 2016.

Counsel to the plaintiff, Oladele Oyelami, informed the court that the court processes and notice of hearing in the matter had been served on the respondents through substituted means, by publishing it in  two national dailies, but none of the publications was displayed before the court.

In his ruling, Justice Abang said he will cease to sit as a vacation judge on September 9, 2016 and added that, “In this circumstances, I do not think that the matter can be concluded before 9th September.

“Therefore, the only option left for the court is to return the case file to the Honourable Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta for re-assignment to another Judge for hearing on a date to be fixed after the vacation of the court.”

Justice Abang consequently referred the case to the Chief Judge, for re-assignment to another judge.

It would be recalled  that Jimoh Ibrahim and PDP in the suit No. FHC/ ABJ/CS/591/2016, joined Senator Makarfi, Senator Ben Obi, Senator Odion Ugbesia, Senator Abdul Ningi, Barrister Karibu Usman, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, Alhaja Aisha Aliyu (for themselves and on behalf of the caretaker committee) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as respondents in the matter