In The News: Fayose's thugs attack Ekiti court

In The News: Fayose's thugs attack Ekiti court

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 8:03 am

Fayose: supporters attack Ekiti High Court

Fayose: supporters attack Ekiti High Court

About 100 hoodlums on Monday disrupted proceedings at an Ado Ekiti High Court after a judge decided to hear the substantive suit challenging the eligibility of Governor-elect, Ayodele Fayose, to contest the June 21 election.

The Punch reported that the invasion took place shortly after the judge, Justice Olusegun Ogunyemi, refused an application to set aside an order abridging the time for the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate to file his defence in the case filed on behalf of socio-political group, Ekiti-11 by a member, Mr. Femi Ajakaiye.

The judge had adjourned sitting till 12 noon to prepare a ruling in a similar matter filed by the Citizen Popular Party before trouble started.

As he was preparing to return for the continuation of the matter, angry youths besieged the court. The judge was smuggled out of the chambers through the back door to avoid being lynched by the aggressors.

Judges, lawyers and others in court, including journalists, ran for their lives as the protesters went berserk and went after perceived opponents of the PDP.

It could not be confirmed if the police made any arrest.

The hoodlums said they were aggrieved about the perceived partiality of the judge handling the case.
In the ensuing melee, the Chairman of Ado West Local Council Development Authority, Mr. Sunday Ibitoye, and Ajakaye, were attacked.

The hoodlums had earlier engaged in an argument with security officials in the court room for preventing some of them from entering the court while allowing others inside.

The rampaging youths, who called the trial judge all sorts of unprintable names, alleged that he was partial in handling the matter for showing interest beyond official reasons.

The judge, who had assumed jurisdiction in the case had ruled that he could not reverse his decision to abridge the time as the court had become “functus officio” having taken a decision on the issue.
Contrary to the argument by the PDP, the court said the decision to abridge the time did not contravene Section 32 of the 1999 Constitution.

Justice Ogunyemi said the PDP and Fayose failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the reasons why the court could not hear the substantive suit.

The judge consequently dismissed the PDP’s application, saying the court could not set aside its own ruling of June 6, and that the time frame had been overtaken by events, which he maintained had rendered the whole exercise a mere academic exercise.

.Story originally reported by Punch Online

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