The Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party has picked holes in the orders of the Federal High Court recognising Jimoh Ibrahim as the party’s governorship candidate ahead of the November 26 election in Ondo State.
The Makarfi faction, in a counter-affidavit filed before the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, on Saturday, also faulted the roles played by lawyers engaged by the rival leadership faction of the PDP led by Ali Modu Sheriff in obtaining the court orders.
The caretaker committee faction filed the counter-affidavit in response to an objection filed by the Sheriff faction of the PDP, asking the Court of Appeal to discontinue the appeal commenced by the Makarfi’s rival faction against the order of the Federal High Court.
A special panel of the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, led by Justice Jumai Sankey, was set up to deal with the cases that emanated from the orders made by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja on October 14, which recognised Ibrahim as the authentic governorship candidate of the PDP in Ondo State.
The Makarfi faction of the PDP and others, including Jegede, have since filed about eight different cases primarily seeking leave to appeal against the Federal High Court orders.
They needed to first obtain the leave because they were not parties to the suit which Justice Abang made the orders.
They also need another leave to file their appeals because they failed to do so within 90 days of the delivery of the June 29 judgment of the Federal High Court.
Three of the cases have so far been withdrawn, leaving five pending.
But the Sheriff faction , on October 27, filed an objection to the cases filed by the Makarfi faction in the appeal numbered CA/A/551/2016, on the grounds that the Makarfi group did not receive the authority of the party to commence the legal action at the Court of Appeal.
In its response contained in the counter-affidavit filed against Sheriff’s faction’s objection to the appeal, the Makarfi camp stated that the lawyers engaged by Sheriff deliberately hid the suit before the Federal High Court from legitimate authorities of the parties and went ahead to act as both the plaintiffs’ and respondents’ lawyers in the case.
The Makarfi faction also stated that the lawyers engaged by the Sheriff’s faction did not have the authority of the party to challenge the appeal.
Out of the eight cases originally filed in respect of the Ondo State PDP matters , only five of the cases filed by Jegede, PDP and Makarfi are left pending.
The appeal panel fixed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (of this week) for further hearing in the cases.