The Court of Appeal sitting in Ado Ekiti has granted an interim order staying execution of all orders granted by Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti, restraining the Dr Eddy Olafeso led Southwest Zonal Exco of the People Democratic Party (PDP) from functioning.
In its ruling, the court also stopped all proceedings at the Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti pending the determination of the appeal.
The court also frowned at the a letter dated November 30, 2017 addressed to the presiding justice of the Court of Appeal, Ado Ekiti Division, by Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe, seeking a postponement of the hearing of the motion for a stay of execution brought by the Olafeso, declaring that it was an attempt to intimidate the court and that “We refused to be intimidated by the first respondent (Ogundipe).”
In granting the application for stay of execution of the Justice Taiwo Taiwo orders, the appeal court, presided by Justice Ahmad Belgore took cognizance of the pending application to commit Olafeso and others to prison for contempt scheduled to be heard tomorrow at the Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti.
He said: “all the Orders and rulings of the lower court delivered on October 17, October 23 November 8 and November 27, 2017 have been stayed in the interim, meaning that those orders and rulings are of no value as from now and cannot be used anywhere having been rendered null and void, and that all the proceedings at the Federal High Court have been stayed pending the determination of the interlocutory appeal that is before the Appeal court.”
Further hearing on the appeal was adjourned till January 15, 2018.
The Supreme Court had in a judgment delivered by Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen recognized the Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee.
Ogundipe had in a suit number FAC/AD,CS/18/2017 said the Supreme Court judgment did not invalidate his executive, saying the verdict only affected the National body led by Sheriff.
Before granting the order, Justice Belgore had asked Makanjuola, which faction he belonged to and he said it was Sheriff faction. The judge also asked which faction was declared as authentic by the Supreme Court to which Ogundipe answered Makarfi.
Counsel to the Olafeso-led Exco, Sunday Olowalafe had informed the court of the various underhand deals aimed at frustrating the appeal. He said he was curious that, Forms 48 and 49 were filed together and Justice Taiwo Taiwo was ready to hear the application to commit Dr Olafeso and other members of his Exco to prison for contempt.
Olowolafe also wondered why record of proceedings at the lower court was not made available until he had to depose to an affidavit that the lower court was deliberately hiding the court records to frustrate the appeal and achieve the aim of forcing the self-appointed exco of Ogundipe on the PDP.
“The orders were granted exparte on October 17, 2017, having filed same application on October 16, knowing that its lifespan was 14 days, it was further extended on November 8, 2017.
“On that same day, all parties were in court, but to our chagrin, the matter was adjourned sine die or when the court will call the parties at its own discretion by giving us hearing notice.
“Curiously, on November 27, 2017, the same court that had adjourned sine die, sat on a matter exparte, making all frantic efforts in conjunction with Makanjuola and his cohorts, attempting to commit the National Chairman of PDP, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Secretary to the National Caretaker committee, Senator Ben Obi and others to prison for contempt of court.
Reacting to the development, Olafeso said: “I thank all members of our great party, the PDP for this victory over the forces of darkness. Specifically, I thank our leader and Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose for his commitment to saving our party from this cankerworm. I cannot thank him enough.
“Today’s proceeding at the Court of Appeal, Ado Ekiti should be a clear message to those who have used crooked judicial process to hold our party down that their game has come to an inglorious end.”
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