The National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prof. Wale Oladipo, has petitioned the Chief Judge of Ekiti State over “cases assigned to one Justice M. O. Abodunde of High Court 4, Ado Ekiti,” saying, “we believe it is in the interest of Ekiti State Judiciary not to allow a controversial judge to decide these volatile political cases”.
The cases, according to the PDP scribe are: Mr. Adeniyi Ajakaiye and Mr. Olufemi Ajayi vs Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose and two others; and Citizens’ Popular Party and two others vs PDP and three others.
He said: “In as much as we have implicit confidence in our judiciary to dispense justice in accordance with the rule of the law, we shall not however hesitate to object to an established convincing likelihood of bias on the part of the Presiding Judge”.
He, therefore, prayed the Chief Judge to, “graciously transfer those cases with clear intention of disqualifying our candidate (Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose) in the forthcoming gubernatorial election”.
Given reasons for the concern so expressed, Oladipo said: “The suit between Mr. Adeniyi Ajakaiye and Mr. Olufemi Ajayi vs Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose and two others was instituted by members of E-Eleven, a socio-political group sympathetic to the ruling APC government in Ekiti State. The case between Citizens’ Popular Party and two others vs PDP and three others, also before the same judge, is the same in content and relief sought.
“Mr. Banji Abodunde, the husband of Justice M. O. Abodunde is a principal member of the E-Eleven group who are the sponsors and originators of the two cases. (See the affidavit in support of the originating summons where the two claimants claimed to be members of E-Eleven).
“Mr. Banji Abodunde, the husband of Justice Abodunde is a consultant and contractor to the ruling APC government. He is also in the management board of Fountain Motel assigned to the E-Eleven to manage on behalf of the state government.
“The first son of Justice Abodunde, Mr. Abodunde (Jnr) was recruited from Glo, Ghana to work in the I.T. section of the governor’s office by Governor Kayode Fayemi. He is working directly with Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the gubernatorial candidate of APC.
“The marital relationship between the presiding judge in these cases and the E-Eleven member in the person of Mr. Banji Abodunde is likely to generate bias which we as a political party consider too risky to enjoy our confidence.
“It is a common fact in Ekiti State today that members of E-Eleven of which Justice Abodunde’s husband is a member, is already celebrating their ‘assured’ victory over these cases.
“Justice M. O. Abodunde is reported to have sworn to assume jurisdiction over this matter which is clearly a case for the Federal High Court in view of the Federal agency (INEC) involved in the matters and deliver judgement in record time before June 21, 2014”, the PDP scribe said.