A new panel set up for the Ondo State Governorship Election Tribunal has commenced sitting.

Before the panel are five appeals.

First to be taken is that of Clement Faboyede against Biyi Poroye, the factional chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State.

Another issues that the panel is likely to handle is the controversy within the PDP over its governorship candidate.

Two factions of the party in the state are claiming that their candidate is the right representative of the party.

The electoral body has added the name of Mr Jimoh Ibrahim to the list of the governorship candidates for the poll in line with court rulings, but agitations are still on for Mr Ibrahim’s name to be removed and substituted with Mr Eyitayo Jegede.

At the commencement of hearing on Friday, however, the counsel to Mr Faboyede notify the court of his intention to withdraw the appeal.

With no objection to the request, Justice Ibrahim Saulawu struck out the appeal seeking extension of time within which to appeal against the decision of Justice Abang delivered on June 29.

A new panel had become necessary after the three-member special panel of the Court of Appeal handling the appeal cases of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in respect of the Ondo State governorship candidacy for the November 26 governorship election disqualified itself.

Their decision followed allegations that the justices had been compromised.

The three justices bowed out of the cases on November 1, following a petition written by a factional chairman of the party in the state, Mr Biyi Poroye, who alleged that the justices were likely to be biased against him.

In the petition written on October 31 and addressed to the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, the petitioner alleged that Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State had boasted in the public that he and Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State have settled the justices to do their bidding.

Poroye further alleged that Justice Sankey was transferred from Yola where Eyitayo Jegede, the appellant, who is also a senior lawyer, was practicing law for the past 15 years and that when the justice arrived in Akure, Governor Mimiko boasted that he catered for her to the tune of 100 million Naira.