Indeed this must be a very bad season for the Vote-Robbery Party of Nigeria, sorry, we mean the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria’s ruling and ruining party.
This morning at the Federal Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan, Justice Chidi Uwa Panel struck out the petition of Governor Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State, which sought to prevent the Appeal Court President from re-constituting a new tribunal to try the case of electoral robbery brought by Senator Ibikunle Amosun of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) against the PDP.
The appellate court ruled that the president of the court of appeal, Justice Umaru Abdullahi, has the right to set up a new panel to hear election petitions in Ogun state. She said it is within the jurisdiction of the president of the court of appeal, if he deemed fit, to set up a panel to retry the election petitions for fairness and justice, stressing that the most important thing is for justice to be done.
She ordered that a new panel to look into the electoral petition of Senator Ibikunle Amosun immediately for fresh retrial. Governor Daniel had, in May, 2008, sued the Appeal Court president to a Federal High Court, Abeokuta, Ogun state, seeking an order to restrain him from setting up a new panel to hear Senator Amosun’s petition.
It would be recalled that Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN), Counsel to the ANPP Gubernatorial Candidate, Senator Amosun, had exposed the former panel as biased because its members were being housed and fed by the Ogun State government, a situation, which he said, would not give room for fairness in its judgement.
Earlier this year, Justice Itsifanus Thomas, who was heading the three-member panel hearing the appeal, withdrew from the case at the resumption of the matter in Ibadan, and was replaced by Justice Datijo Mohammed. He based his withdrawal on the fact that he was a member of the original panel that ordered the petition to be retried by the lower tribunal.
This ruling has pulled the carpet from under the feet of embattled governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola of Osun State, who had been hoping to delay the retrial of the electoral heist of April 14 2007, which was earlier this week ordered for a new tribunal for retrial because the first tribunal led by Justice Thomas Naron was compromised and had perverted justice against Engineer Rauf Aregbesola, the gubernatorial candidate of the Action Congress (AC).