The three-man panel of judges of the Appeal Court specially constituted to give accelerated hearing to the appeal of the PDP and its candidate, Eyitayo Jegede over the candidature of the PDP in the Ondo governorship election has withdrawn from presiding over the case after it had been battered and bludgeoned by cheap and unverified claims and blackmail by Jimoh Ibrahim and his self-acclaimed PDP chairman, Biyi Poroye.
The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja, had fixed today [Tuesday, November 1, 2016] to begin hearing in the case, but could not proceed due to the unfounded petition written against it by Jimoh and Poroye.
The file case has been returned to the president of the Court of Appeal to be reassigned to a new panel of Judges to begin hearing of the case soon.
Poroye, who earlier appeared at the court with Jimoh Ibrahim, vanished into the thin air as the court was about to begin hearing over fear of being jailed over his petition addressed to the Nigerian Judicial Council (NJC), on Monday.
The Appeal Court Judges, who were visibly infuriated about the petition, blew hot over the petition written by Poroye, challenging his counsel if he was aware of the petition written by his client.
The Judges had insisted that the issue must be sorted out before matter progresses as the petition contains myriads of baseless allegations against their personality.
The Judges, while challenging Alex Iziyon, counsel to Poroye over the petition written by his client, said “we are shocked that your client, Biyi Poroye could engage in this malicious act that can obstruct Justice”
The leading Judge, Justice Jumai Sankey, who was almost in tears while withdrawing from the case, said Jimoh Ibrahim and co did not only accuse her of greed but of poverty owing to her protracted ill health.
Justice Jumai Sankey while taking her hands off the case rued the personal attack on her by Jimoh Ibrahim and Poroye.
Jimoh and Poroye in their petition had alleged that since the lead Judge (Sankey) was “ill and so poor”, she was susceptible to inducement and bribery!
Meanwhile, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, counsel to Eyitayo Jegede, while speaking with journalists, assured that his client would explore all legal means to retrieve his mandate before the poll on November 26.
In his reaction, counsel to Poroye, Iziyon said “I didn’t know about it, it didn’t have my contribution or suggestion. Poroye is like the proverbial Judas Iscariot for writing that petition. If he was in court he would have defended himself and tell the court who told him to write it, but unfortunately he was nowhere to be found.”
“The Judges decided that for the sake of fair hearing, they have to excuse themselves.” he said.
Iziyon however said the withdrawal of the Judges does not stop the case, as a new panel of Judges would be constituted soon by the President of the Court of Appeal to begin hearing of the case.
It would be recalled that Jimoh Ibrahim had also blackmailed INEC before the release of the final list of party candidates, claiming its officials demanded $1million from him before his name could be included on the INEC list.