A Federal High Court in Abuja has stopped the Peoples Democratic Party from going ahead with its planned national convention scheduled to take place on August 17.
A Federal High Court siting in Abuja has nullified the national convention held by the Peoples Democratic Partyon May 21 in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
It was at that convention that the National Working Committee of the party led by former Governor Ali Modu Sheriff was dissolved and a caretaker committee led by former Governor Ahmed Markarfi was constituted.
Mr. Sheriff, a former governor of Borno State, has since then been challenging his removal and has insisted that he remained the legitimate leader of Nigeria’s leading opposition party.
But ruling in a fresh case brought before his court on Thursday, Justice Okon Abang said the May 21 convention was illegal and that Mr. Makarfi’s committee was unlawfully constituted.
Justice Abang gave the ruling while determining the rightful counsel to represent the PDP in the new case.
Mr. Sheriff is asking the court to determine whether his replacement by Mr. Makarfi was lawful or an abuse of court orders.
The Lagos division of the Federal High Court had issued a court order restraining the PDP from conducting election into the offices of its national chairman, national secretary and national auditor.
The ruling by Justice Ibrahim Buba was made sequel to an application brought by Mr. Sheriff and his colleagues who occupied those positions.
The application had intended to prevent elections of new party leaders at the May 21 convention.
But on May 21, the PDP held its convention in Port Harcourt where Mr. Makarfi was appointed to lead a caretaker committee, a development that sparked a fresh round of crI$IS in the party, with Mr. Sheriff insisting that he remained the legitimate chairman of the fold.
The two contenders sent two different lawyers to Justice Abang’s court on Thursday, both claiming to represent the national chairman of the party.
The court listened to the two lawyers – Ferdinand Obi and Adeniyi Akintola — to enable it to determine who should be the legal representative of the PDP in the matter.
Giving his ruling, Mr. Abang ruled that in determining who should be the rightful counsel to the PDP, it was necessary to decide whether the caretaker committee led by Mr. Makarfi was rightly constituted or not.
“The convention was unlawfully held and the caretaker committee was unlawfully constituted,” the judge ruled.
“If the Markarfi-led faction, as an apostle of impunity, missed its way to the Port Harcourt division of the FHC, the court cannot be said to have acted within its legal jurisdiction in entertaining the matter,” Mr. Abang said.
He urged politicians to desist from creating confusion for judges.
Prior to his ruling, the counsel argued for over seven hours.
Source: Premium Times