By Aaron Ossai
Nigeria’s apex Court has struck out an application by the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ali Modu Sheriff asking the court not to hear the appeal of National Caretaker Committee of the party, Ahmed Makarfi.
It would be recalled that Makarfi had filed an appeal at the apex court to challenge the judgement of the Port Harcourt division of the appeal court which sacked his caretaker committee and affirmed Sheriff as chairman of the party.
The hearing of the matter was fixed for May 25.
However, Sheriff in the application asked the apex court not to hear Makarfi’s appeal because he could not initiate legal proceedings in the name of party, having been sacked by the appeal court.
But at the court on Monday, Counsel to Sheriff, Akin Olujimi said Wole Olanipekun, counsel to Markafi, was abusing the court by using two processes to sustain his appeal.
He further asked the court not to allow the appeal, stating that Olanipekun did not apply for leave on some 20 out of 24 grounds of arguments.
“This constitutes an abuse of court processes. He is using two different processes to sustain his appeal,” Olujimi said.
On his part, Olanipekun urged the court to allow his appeal challenging the appeal court’s judgement.
“I urge your lordships to discountenance all that he has said, saying we did not seek leave for our grounds. He is the one abusing court processes.”
“Our appeal was dated April 27 and the judgement of the court of appeal was dated February 17. According to the Supreme Court rule, we have three months. Why will we be asking for leave for time when we were within time? Application for leave to appeal is also an appeal”, he argued.
After listening to both sides, the five-man justices led by Walter Onnoghen, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), allowed the appeal.
“In this circumstance, we find merit in the appeal which is accordingly granted,” Onnoghen said.