THE legal tussle that arose from the April 14, 2007 House of Assembly and April 21, 2007 House of Representatives elections in Osun State resumed for further hearing before the Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State capital on Monday.
The appeals mentioned by the court were the ones filed by the Action Congress (AC) House of Representative’s candidate in Osogbo/Olorunda/Irepodun/Orolu Federal Constituency, Mr. Lasun Yusuff against Honourable Leo Awoyemi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); AC House of Assembly candidate in Isokan/Irewole constituency, Kazeem Alabi against Oyejide Gbadebo of the PDP; AC House of Assembly candidate in Ifedayo consitituency, Abatan Olorunjuwon against Abiodun Idowu of the PDP and the one filed by the AC House of Assembly candidate in Ife Central Constituency, Adetilewa Sijuwade against Ropo Oyewole of the PDP.
Other cases mentioned involved the PDP House of Assembly candidate in Ila state constituency, Sikiru Alabi against the election of an AC lawmaker in the House, Ajiboye Ademola; and Alliance For Democracy (AD) House of Assembly candidate in Iwo Constituency, Fatai Rabiu against the election of the AC legislator representing the constituency, Honourable Salinsile Ayobami.
Justice John Fabiyi led Justice Chidi Uwa and Justice Modupe Fasanmi during the proceedings on Monday. In the case involving Lasun and Awoyemi, the appellant counsel, Barrister Kunle Adegoke, who led Mohammed Bashir Ibrahim and two others, informed the court that he had a motion on notice, asking for an extension of time to file the notice of additional grounds of appeal and deemed the already filed as being properly filed.
None of the counsel for the respondents in the appeal – Awoyemi; PDP; Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); Inspector-General of Police and others – raised any objection to the application and the application was subsequently granted by the court.
Counsel for the parties in the matter are therefore expected to be served with hearing notice the day expected of them to adopt their main brief of argument of the appeal.
Besides in the appeal filed by Olorunjuwon against Idowu, counsel to the appellant told the court that he had already filed a motion on notice dated August 19, 2008, asking for an extension of time within which to file certain notices of appeal and deemed the one filed as being properly filed.
But the presiding judge reminded the counsel that the court had already taken a stand on a similar application against such application.
In response, Adegoke admitted that the court had taken decision in a similar application, but argued further that there have been newer authorities, which permit him to file such application.
Adegoke, who argued that the issue in contention is a matter of law, said that his proposed authority would convince the court on the need to give the ruling in his favour.
Sensing that the counsel was eager to convince the court with authorities, Justice Fabiyi said: “I can see that you feel strong about this matter and we must listen to you”.
He then directed counsel to file written addresses in support of the application and the counter-affidavits and adjourned the matter till February 11 for adoption of the addresses.
Also, in the matter involving Sijuwade and Oyewole, the first and the second respondents in the matter (Oyewole and PDP) represented by their counsel, Mr. Adegbile Moronkeji told the court that they had filed a preliminary objection against the main appeal, challenging the competence of the appeal on the ground that the appellant filed same out of the stipulated time.
But counsel to the appellant, Adegoke said that the application was a time-wasting one, saying that eventually, his objection to the said application would be upheld, pursuant to his sound argument after the court might have listen to the counsel in the matter over the said objection.
Having discovered that none of the counsel had filed written addresses in support of the application and the counter-affidavit, Justice Fabiyi directed them to go back and file written addresses in support of the application and adjourned the matter till February 11, for adoption of the written addresses of the application.
Besides, in the case involving Alabi and Gbadebo, counsel to the first and second respondents’ in the matter, Aderemi Abimbola informed the court that he had already filed a preliminary objection, but the court ordered them to prepare brief written addresses and adjourned till February 11 for adoption.
In the cases between Ajani Tajudeen of the PDP and Fatai Rabiu and Sikiru Alabi against Ajiboye’s election, having dealt with all the applications in respect of the matter, the counsel are expected to be served notice of hearing later.
By KAZEEM MOHAMMED