Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday withdrew himself from a case centering around the leadership tussle in the Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party.
The judge, who announced his withdrawal from the suit marked FHC/L/CS/1556/17 in the open court, said his decision was based on a petition dated October 18, 2017, written to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdu Kafarati, against him.
The said petition, titled, “Petition Against Handling of Suit FHC/L/CS/LC56/2017: Adeyanju & ORS vs INEC, PDP & ORS by Hon. Justice Ibrahim N. Buba,” was signed by the PDP National Vice-Chairman, South-West Zone, Dr. Eddy Olafeso.
On Friday, the court premises was besieged by a host of placards-bearing protesters, demanding the judge’s withdrawal from the case.
Some of the inscriptions on the placards read: “Justice Buba is a Senator Buruji Kashamu’s agent”; “Is Justice Buba bigger than the Supreme Court?”; “Justice Buba unfit to dispense justice”; “Save us from the wickedness of Justice Buba”; “Justice for sale in Buba’s court,” among others derogatory words.
Counsel for the plaintiffs in the suit, Ifeoma Esom, in a chat with journalists at the end of the proceedings, expressed displeasure at the turn of event, describing the protesters as “jobless people hired by politicians” to blackmail the judge.
“This is blackmail by politicians against the judiciary. This is just a situation where politicians have decided to gang up against the judiciary just to stop a judge from doing his job,” Esom said.
The controversial suit was filed by the Ogun State delegation to the PDP national convention.
Listed as the plaintiffs were a member of the PDP National Working Committee, Alhaji Adewole Adeyanju; the PDP youth leader in Ogun State, Femi Alao; and delegates to the convention, Daisi Akintan and Alhaji Idris Muniru.
Others were the chairmen of Ijebu North, Ijebu East and Shagamu local government areas of Ogun State – Chief (Mrs.) Tuke Omotara, Alhaji Badejo Abiodun and Otunba Kola Akinyemi – respectively.
Among the 31 defendants in the suit are the Independent National Electoral Commission; the PDP; and the PDP National Caretaker Committee and its Chairman, Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi.
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