PDP Leadership Tussle: Sheriff Moves to Stall Court Order

  • Applies for stay of execution

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

Former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has appealed against last Wednesday’s ruling by an Abuja High Court in Kubwa, seeking a stay of execution his sack by the court.

Justice Nwamaka Ogbonna of High Court of the Federal Capital Territory had  told Sheriff that he was illegally appointed as the chairman of the PDP and as such, should stop parading himself as the party’s national chairman henceforth.

The suit seeking declaration on Sheriff’s status was instituted by a contestant to the position of the youth leader at yesterday’s convention, Danladi Ayuba, while the sole defendant was Sheriff.

However, Sheriff yesterday  reacted to the judgment of the High Court sitting in Kubwa, saying it did not affect his chairmanship position.
Sheriff said  though the judgment did not affect him in anyway, however disclosed that he  has appealed it and asked for stay of execution.

Justice Valentine Ashi had on June 29, 2016, declared that “the purported amendment of article 47(6) of the PDP Constitution of 2012 at a special National Convention of the party held on December 10 and 11, 2014, is unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect for non-compliance with mandatory due process as provided in Article 66(2) and (3) of the said constitution.

“By reason of the above, the purported amendment introduced in article 47 on the aforesaid dates are hereby set aside.

“All persons or individuals, officers, servants and agents of the PDP parading themselves as national officers of the PDP purportedly pursuant to the said amendment which has now been nullified are hereby restrained from further parading themselves around in those capacities and claiming the rights and privileges attached or appurtenant thereto.”

Based on this, Justice Ogbonna, in her judgment last Wednesday, nullified the appointment of Sheriff as PDP chairman and declared his appointment as null and void.

Speaking on behalf of Sheriff, his deputy, Cairo Ojuogboh, said although Sheriff was not a party to  the suit, he has appealed it and asked for stay of execution.

“When you are too much in a hurry to kill your enemy, sometimes you kill yourself. Some persons went to Justice Valentine Ashi and Sheriff was not party to the case. Justice Ashi gave judgment based on what was placed before him.

“Sheriff was not a party to it and we have appealed it and asked for stay of execution. In that ruling, Justice Ashi annulled the amendment of the 2014 PDP Constitution. In annulling it, we go back to 2012 constitution. In that constitution, it is stated that when a National Working Committee (NWC) member leaves his office by virtue of death or anything, somebody from that particular zone will be nominated and appointed to complete his tenure and continue in office until the next convention. That is what happened.

“The court annulled the 2014 constitution as amended, it does not affect Sheriff in any way. He will now stand on the 2012 Constitution. We have taken it back to the court in an appeal,” he said.