Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has approached the Supreme Court to challenge the ruling of the Appeal Court that held that the service of originating summons to the national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC), instead of Akeredolu as the candidate, was right.
The ruling was celebrated by Abraham’s supporters across Ondo State, claiming that the decision of the Appellate Court was a quit notice to the sitting governor.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja had validated the service of originating summons filed by the first runner-up in the party’s primary election, Mr Segun Abraham, to the APC National Secretariat in connection with the primaries won by the governor in September 2016.
In a statement issued and signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Segun Ajiboye, the governor said the ruling of the Appeal Court was being unnecessarily blown out of proportion as a result of ignorance.
He consequently directed his legal team to file an appeal at the Supreme Court against the ruling, saying the decision of the Appellate Court does not call for celebration from the opposition’s camp.
Akeredolu explained that the ruling was on whether the service of the originating process on the APC secretariat in Abuja, instead of Akeredolu was right or not and questioned the alleged twist in the ruling by some people.
The statement read: “You will recall that Segun Abraham went to court to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu as the governorship candidate of APC. Governor Akeredolu had appealed the ruling of Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Abuja, who ruled that an application for an interim injunction sought by Abraham be heard. The governor later took the matter to the Appeal Court, which gave the latest ruling”.
“However, it is very important to note that the Court of Appeal ruling borders on whether the service of the originating process on APC secretariat in Abuja was proper service on Oluwarotimi Akeredolu. The substantive case is yet to commence but the Appeal Court held that the service was proper,” it added.
Meanwhile, the APC legal adviser in Ondo central senatorial district, Titiloye Charles, debunked the rumour about the pronouncement of the Appeal Court on the party primaries in 2016 in the state.
Mr Charles said the ruling was an interlocutory ruling in respect of an application which emanated from the Federal High Court on service of originating process.
He noted that the ruling was very straight forward without any ambiguity, adding that the Appeal Court said Governor Akeredolu was served and that the case should be reversed to the lower court for hearing.
“Anybody that says the judgement is in favour of anybody is just deceiving themselves and they are gullible supporters. The case has not even come up for hearing, parties have not even concluded their pleading.
“The case is being handled by a competent senior lawyer, Akin Olujimi, who we all know is equal to the task. Hearing has not started on the substantive matter, what led to the appeal is the issue of service”, the legal adviser said.