The Court of Appeal in Abuja today ejected controversial businessman Jimoh Ibrahim as the legitimate Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the Ondo State gubernatorial election scheduled for this weekend.
Justice Ibrahim Salauwa, leading other judges, ruled in favor of Eyitayo Jegede, widely known to be the handpicked candidate of Governor Segun Mimiko, by nullifying the party primary which produced Mr. Ibrahim.
The ruling came after a five-man panel of the Supreme Court led by Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, yesterday ordered the Court of Appeal to deliver its arrested ruling from last Friday.
The Court of Appeal had deferred to the Supreme Court after SaharaReporters exposed the dealings orchestrated by Gov. Mimiko who had spent weeks in Abuja with his lawyers bribing judges to restore Jegede’s name to the ballot after Justice Okon bang gave a ruling asking INEC to replace Jegede on the ballot.
At the Court today, several PDP bigwigs besieged the court in expectation of a favorable ruling. Those present included factional party chairman Ahmed Makarfi; Chairman of DAAR Communications, Raymond Dokpesi; Former Foreign Minister Tom Ikimi, Jerry Gana, mega Ihedioha, Olajumoke Akinjide, Austin Oparah, Ibrahim Shekarau and Stella Omo.
Biyi Poroye, who led the factional team that was defeated today, said his group has appealed to the Supreme Court and that a hearing has been scheduled for tomorrow to decide if Jegede should have been allowed to join the case as a litigant. It is not clear if the Supreme Court will rule on the matter tomorrow.
A source at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said that an announcement will be made from its headquarters today substituting Jegede name with that of Jimoh at its headquarters since a copy of the judgment has been served on INEC.