The planned commencement of trial in the suit seeking the sack of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State was stalled on Friday owing to the absence of Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), lawyer to the APC and its Chairman.

A Federal High Court in Abuja had on December 11 last year adjourned the case, filed by APC chieftain, Olusegun Abraham, to January 15 this year for hearing. But, upon request by lawyers in the case, the court rescheduled the case to January 18 for trial.

When the case was called on Friday, Muritata Abdulrasheed, who announced appearance for the APC and its Chairman (1st and 3rd defendants), informed the court that the lead lawyer for his clients, Fagbemi was absent in court because he was bereaved and had travelled to Kwara State for his auntie’s burial.

Abdulrasheed, who said he was informed about the development on Friday morning, said he could not handle the case in the absence of the leader of his team, who he said participated in the pre-trial meetings. He sought an adjournment.

Lawyers to Abraham and Akeredolu, Akin Oujinmi (SAN) and Professor Joash Amupitan (SAN) confirmed the development and agreed to the request for adjournment.

Abraham, who was the 1st runner-up in the APC governorship primary in Ondo State in 2016, is by the suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/788/2016, challenging Akeredolu’s emergence as the winner of the primary and the party’s candidate for the last governorship election in the state.

Abraham alleged that the primary was manipulated to favour Akeredolu and wants the court to nullify the outcome of the primary and pronounce him (Abraham). As the winner of the primary and the party’s candidate for the election.

Defendants in the case are the APC, Akeredolu, APC Chairman and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Details later.

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