There was a mild drama at an Akure High Court yesterday when former Kaduna State Governor Balarabe Musa tackled Justice S.A Sidiq for imposing a lawyer on his Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).
Musa, who is PRP national chairman, was in Akure, the Ondo State capital, to witness a suit filed by the party against its exclusion in the local government election conducted by the State Independent Electoral Commission (ODIEC) last April.
When the case came up for hearing, Musa was stunned when a lawyer, Segun Ogodo, who was not hired by the party, announced appearance for the party.
The former governor, who was in court with the state chairman, Tunde Ali, said they did not brief Ogodo to represent them and that the party had briefed Femi Borisade as its lawyer.
The duo said since Aborisade was not in court, they had briefed another lawyer, Udofot Ekereke, to stand in for him.
Musa expressed dismay that a lawyer who was not retained by the party could go to court without the litigants’ knowledge and representing the party without authorization.
But Justice Sidiq said since Ogodo had been representing the party, he should go ahead with the case.
This led to a shouting match as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) council chairmen and councilors accused the judge of predetermined judgment.
Security agents, led by an assistant commissioner of Police, later calmed frayed nerves.
Justice Sidiq adjourned till March 31 for further hearing.
Addressing reporters after proceedings, Musa said: “I was surprised that a lawyer can go to court to represent PRP without being briefed.
“The second surprise is that I wanted to tell the judge that I do not know the lawyer who pretended to represent me.
“I wanted to tell him that Femi Borisade is the one I briefed as the national chairman of PRP in this case, but I was surprised the judge did not allow me.”
The PRP filed a suit alleging that its logo was missing in the ballot papers for the April 16, 2016 local government election.
The suit, which was filed by Borisade, has ODIEC, PDP and the government as defendants.
Since the election, which had the party’s logo on the ballot papers and result sheets, the party had abandoned the suit.
Musa said since the party’s grievances had been addressed by ODIEC, the suit had become unnecessary, wondering who authorized Ogodo to resuscitate the suit on behalf of the party.
30 March, 2017