Akala Governorship Bid Still in Limbo As Court Adjourns
LAGOS, Feb 10, (THEWILL) – The reelection bid of the Governor of Oyo State, Otunba Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala is still in limbo as a Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan today adjourned without making any definite pronouncements following an interim court order barring the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising Alao-Akala as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship candidate in the April election.
The matter had come up for hearing in the case presided over by Justice Johnson Shakarho with all counsels present wanting the judge to grant the matter an accelerated hearing before counsel to the applicant in the matter, former NBA Chairman, Chief Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), reminded the court of an application he had filed to commit Governor Alao-Akala to prison for his statement describing the court’s earlier interim injunction as ‘an act of frivolity.’
But the governor’s counsel and former Attorney General and Justice Minister, Chief Richard Akinjide (SAN) had argued that he was just served the notice for the committal to prison and had not studied it to enable him file a proper response. State PDP counsel, Chief Lateef Fagbemi however admitted that he had been served the application earlier.
Following his admission, Akeredolu urged the court to rule on the committal to prison immediately as the defendant had failed to respond to the motion. He cited Order 26 rule 5 which he said states that “a party on whom proceedings have been served and who intend to reply should do so within seven days or else forfeit the right to reply.”
Justice Shakarho however refused to accede to Akeredolu’s plea saying that it was not right in law and adjourned proceedings to Monday, February 14, 2011.
It was at this juncture that Chief Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) who represented the Chairman of the State PDP, Chief Dejo Afolabi informed the court of his application to vacate the interim court order barring INEC from fielding the governor as PDP Governorship candidate of the state.
Fagbemi argued that since the governorship matter was of high priority, the court should hear his application to vacate the injunction immediately.
But Justice Shakarho failed to grant his plea and ruled that the committal to prison application and other applications would be heard on the next adjourned date.