As at now PDP has no Candidate in Ondo for the February 14 polls – Federal High Court

Find the Report by Gani Muhammed Ajowa below:
A Federal High Court in Abuja, presided over by
Justice Adeniyi Ademola has ordered Independent National Electoral Commission,
INEC, not to do anything in respect of Peoples
Democratic Party, PDP, candidates for elections
in Ondo State until it rules on committal
proceedings before it.
The judge reminded INEC of the earlier order
made by the vacation judge to the extent that
INEC should not take any further step that
would render nugatory other judgements of the
court when delivered.
Both PDP and INEC had addressed the court
extensively on which application to take
between the preliminary objections brought by
the PDP on motion for committal by the old
PDP candidates.
Counsel to the old PDP cited Supreme Court
decision to the extent that when civil and criminal cases of contempt are before the court, the court must dispose the criminal contempt before continuing with the civil case.
The PDP lawyer had argued before the court by
a way of delayed tactics, urging the court to
take preliminary objection application before
the contempt proceedings.
The lawyer, who argued that he was not served
despite the publication in newspapers of the
order of the court, was asked by the presiding
judge how the PDP came with motion to discharge an order he was not aware of.
The lawyer who confessed that the case was
above him asked for one day adjournment to
enable his senior, Raji, SAN to help.
Barrister Oloyede, lawyer to Ondo old PDP
candidates urged the court to continue and rule
on the criminal contempt since a violation of
the court order is taken serious anywhere in the
world.
He reminded the court that the violation is
disrespect to her majesty and that no court will
take it lightly if her order was breached.
Justice Ademola in the interest of justice
adjourned the matter till today for the hearing
of the committal proceedings brought by the
old PDP candidates.
The court had stopped both INEC and PDP from
dealing with any other group, other than the
Chief Olu Ogunye-led executive in the state.
Justice Ademola, who expressed displeasure
with the development in the matter, rejected an
invitation by the alleged contemnors to examine
the merit of the case first before countenancing
the committal proceedings maintained against
them by the Ogunye-led exco.
The motion on notice for committal of the
alleged contemnors was brought pursuant to
Order 35 of the Federal High Court (Civil
Procedure Rules) 2009.
It was filed by the Olu Ogunye-led exco and
over 20 PDP local government chairmen in the state as well as some candidates of the party for
the 2015 elections.
In a brief ruling on the matter, Justice Ademola
held that PDP’s argument to stop hearing of the
committal proceeding was “premature at this
stage”.
The judge said: “Where the court’s dignity is to
be ridiculed, jeopadised or undermined by a
party, any application in respect of this should
be heard first.”
He insisted that the order of the court of
competent jurisdiction subsisted until set aside,
particularly when the order stopping the PDP or
INEC not to deal with any other group other
than the Olu Ogunye-led group was not appealed.
Justice Ademola, while fixing the committal
proceeding for hearing for today, however, said
that the order of the court made by Justice
Ahmed Mohammed on December 30, 2014 was
still subsisting.
The court had ordered that parties should not
take any step or action that would render the
substantive suit a nugatory till January 6.
Lawyer to the applicants, Mr. R.A Oloyede, had
protested to the court that INEC had gone ahead
and accepted a different list and published
names of candidates from a group not
sanctioned by the court in violation of a
subsisting order.
Oloyede had told the court that despite a
subsisting judgment and an order of the court,
the alleged contemnors went ahead and took
steps that undermined the authority of the court.
According to him, the court had delivered
judgement in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/826/2014
on November 28, 2014 in which it declared and
made an order of perpetual injunction
restraining Dare Adeleke and Osawu Solomon
from relating with the PDP or the National
Working Committee of the party in respect of
the conduct of primary elections leading to the
election of candidates into membership of Ondo
State House of Assembly, House of
Representativesand Senate of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria.
He added: “However, rather than give effect to
the November 28 judgment in suit FHC/ABJ/
CS/826/2014 and December 18, 2014 order in the main suit, the PDP by its National Working
Committee and INEC colluded and conspired to
defy the authority of the court.”
He therefore invited the court to move in their
favour by granting all the reliefs sought
including “an order of this honourable court
declaring the 1st and 2nd alleged contemnors to
be in criminal contempt of this honourable
court by reason of its conspiracy with others, to
defy the authority of this honourable court and
to flout the purpose of the court as clearly
expressed in its order made in respect of the
Ondo state PDP leadership tussle.
“An order of the court directing the 1st alleged
contemnor by its officers, organs and agents
including in particular, the members of its
National Working Committee to accord
recognition to and accept as valid, the list of
candidates of the PDP set out hereunder as
compiled and forwarded to INEC (for the
general elections to the Ondo State House of
Assembly, House of Representativesand Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Ondo state) and to accord no recognition whatsoever to any other list including that forwarded by it or anyone else apart from the applicants to INEC for the purpose of the said elections.
“An order of the court directing the 2nd alleged
contemnor to accept as valid, process, publish
and use for the purpose of the 2015 general
elections (INEC (for the general elections to the
Ondo State House of Assembly, House of
Representativesand Senate of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria in Ondo state) the following
list of candidates of the PDP in Ondo state.
“An order of the court directing the 2nd
contemnor to deal directly with the applicants
with regards to the results of primaries of the
PDP in Ondo state, for the 2015 general
elections and to provide the applicants all the
necessary forms, facilities and liabilities allowed
by law to enable completion of the nomination
process for the 2015 general elections and to
accept process and use the nomination forms
submitted by the applicants on behalf of the
listed candidates.
INEC’s lawyer, Ibrahim Bawa had admitted in
court that he was present when Justice
Mohammed made the order, while PDP lawyer
O. Adedipe said “factually we received two lists
and accepted one because they were related.”
However, by way of arbiter, the judge had to
caution INEC, by saying “doing opposite of what
Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High
Court ordered is dangerous and you have to be careful.”
He therefore invited the court to move in their
favour by granting all the reliefs sought
including “an order of this honourable court
declaring the 1st and 2nd alleged contemnors to
be in criminal contempt of this honourable court by reason of its conspiracy with others, to defy the authority of this honourable court and
to flout the purpose of the court as clearly expressed in its order made in respect of the Ondo state PDP leadership tussle

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