LG dissolution: PDP drags Ondo govt, INEC to Appeal Court

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has dragged the Ondo State Government, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) to the Court of Appeal, asking the appellate court to reverse a judgement in favour of the trio, which resulted in the sack of all the 18 PDP local government chairmen last week.

An Akure High Court presided over by Justice S. A. Sidiq had ordered the dissolution of the local government councils on the grounds that the PRP was not listed on the ballot paper during the election which held early last year.

Hours after the judgement, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, hurriedly dissolved the councils and appointed caretaker committees to oversee them. But in a fresh suit filed before the Appeal Court by counsel to the PDP, Mr. Olusola Oke, the party complained that the court erred in law by imposing a counsel on the PRP as against the real counsel recognised by the leadership of PRP.

The PDP complained that the appellant at the lower court (PRP) was denied the legal representation of their lawyer, Mr. Femi Aborishade, whereas another lawyer, Mr. Segun Ogodo, "was imposed and foisted on the appellant (PRP)." The PDP stated that it smelt a rat in the decision of the learned judge to have disallowed the PRP's real lawyer to represent the party in the course of trial.

It said: "The learned trial judge erred in law when he disallowed and prevented Femi Aborishade to appear for and handle the appellant's case." Another ground raised by the PDP is that the judge also erred in law by imposing Ogodo on the party as a counsel despite the fact that the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, a former governor of Kaduna State, had disowned Ogodo as the party's lawyer but only endorsed Aborishade.

Only on January 17, this year, the PDP council chairmen had obtained a judgement of the same state's High Court presided over by the then state Chief Judge, Justice Olasheinde Kumuyi, which prevented the state government from sacking or dissolving the 18 local councils until their tenure expires on April 25, 2019.

Meanwhile, Elders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have kicked against the swearing-in of caretaker chairmen to handle the affairs in the 18 local government areas of Ondo State following the dissolution of the elected officials by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.

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