Appeal Court president disbands panel on Kashamu’s case
The appeal filed by Senator Buruji Kashamu against the ruling of Justice Ebiowei Tobi, which nullified his election as a senator representing the Ogun East Senatorial District, took a different turn yesterday as the court disbanded the three-man panel that was to hear the case.
Kashamu was declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the winner of the March 28 polls in the election, but his opponent, Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenged his victory and was subsequently nullified at the tribunal.
The embattled PDP chieftain had proceeded on appeal and also petitioned the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, seeking the disbandment of the appeal panel over allegations of inducement, influence peddling and pervasion of justice.
Kashamu and the PDP alleged that the APC had compromised members of the panel through a senior lawyer.
Abiodun, who expressed surprise over the petition, described the allegation as completely outrageous.
However, Chairman of the PDP in Ogun State, Dayo Adebayo, said the decision to disband the panel was a victory for Kashamu and the party, stressing that they would look forward to fair hearing under a new panel.
He said, “This is victory for us and everybody. What has happened here was a display of the judiciary’s willingness to be fair to all parties concerned. We have discovered that some leaders have been going around manipulating the process. Abiodun lost in his polling unit, ward and council, how can he challenge a popular candidate like Kashamu who won fairly. We discovered that there were lots of manipulations being perpetrated by APC leaders. They were sending lawyers to members of the panel, that was why we cried out and the authority concerned took the appropriate step to halt the panel from going ahead.”
The APC candidate said although he believed in judicial process, PDP and Kashamu’s allegation was aimed at slowing down the judicial process,
Abiodun said, “I am surprised that the panel was disbanded by the court. My team of lawyers has been here since morning and our expectation was that the appeal would commence at 9 a.m., but the panel was asked to step down for a new one that would be constituted.