Pandemonium deluged the premises of the Ekiti State High Court on Monday as thugs invaded the place to interrupt proceedings in a case challenging the eligibility of the Governor-elect, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, to contest the June 21 governorship election.
However, Fayose has since won the election.
The invasion took place shortly after the judge, Justice Olusegun Ogunyemi, refused an application to set aside an order abridging the time for the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate to file his defence in the case filed on behalf of socio-political group, Ekiti-11 by a member, Mr. Femi Ajakaiye.
The judge had adjourned sitting till 12 noon to prepare a ruling in a similar matter filed by the Citizen Popular Party before trouble started.
As he was preparing to return for the continuation of the matter, angry youths besieged the court. The judge was smuggled out of the chambers through the back door to avoid being lynched by the aggressors.
Judges, lawyers and others in court, including journalists, ran for their lives as the protesters went berserk and went after perceived opponents of the PDP.
It could not be confirmed if the police made any arrest. The hoodlums numbering about a hundred were aggrieved about the perceived partiality of the judge handling the case. In the ensuing melee, the Chairman of Ado West Local Council Development Authority, Mr. Sunday Ibitoye, and Ajakaye, were attacked.
The hoodlums had earlier engaged in an argument with securitry officials in the court room for preventing some of them from entering the court while allowing others in.
The rampaging youths, who called the trial judge all sorts of unprintable names, alleged that he was partial in handling the matter for showing interest beyond official reasons.
The judge, who had assumed jurisdiction in the case had ruled that he could not reverse his decision to abridge the time as the court had become “functus officio” having taken a decision on the issue.