•Appeal Court reserves judgment on party’s national convention
Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
The former acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff, has said he still remains the substantive leader of the party.
Sheriff said there were moves to reconcile the two factions of the party, insisting that the party is one.
The Abuja division of the court of appeal on Wednesday had nullified the ruling of Okon Abang, a judge of the Federal High Court Abuja, who declared the Ahmed Makarfi faction of the party illegal.
The Appeal Court said Senator Ahmed Markafi was not given fair hearing at the trial court because he was not allowed to join the matter as an interested party.
But speaking with journalists yesterday, Sheriff said he remained chairman of the party until the Port Harcourt division of Appeal Court says otherwise.
“I’m surprised at some of the reporting you media people are carrying, all the reporting yesterday was not correct because the issue in the lower court, is the issue of governorship of Ondo State,” Sheriff said.
“That issue is between the state chairmen and the chairmen of the other group, the Court of Appeal has not touched anything on who is the leader or who is the substantive national chairman of the PDP that is the issue in the court of appeal. The Supreme Court says the Court of Appeal should hear the matter.
“If the Court of Appeal decides that they should hear that matter – saying Makarfi is the chairman, there is no issue like this, Ali Sheriff remains the substantive chairman of the PDP until the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt gives judgment otherwise.
The Supreme Court also asked the court now to go and hear that matter, so therefore the issue of discussion therefore is between Jegede and Jimoh Ibrahim. We are not party to it. We will abide by any decision of court, we are law-abiding citizens.
On the reconciliation plans, he said: “We will reconcile, the thing is that being in court does not stop the parties from talking. PDP is one.”
Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt has reserved judgment on the appeal filed by Sheriff against the judgment of Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt.
Justice Liman had validated the National Convention of the PDP in Port Harcourt which produced the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee of the PDP and dissolved the National Executive Committee under the leadership of Sheriff.
At the sitting of the Appeal Court in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, counsel to the Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee, Dejo Laminkanra (SAN), urged the court to uphold the validation of the PDP National Convention as granted by the Federal High Court.
Sheriff was represented by Mr. Akintola.
After listening to the submissions of both parties, the presiding Justice, Justice Ali Gumel, reserved judgment for a later date.
The court ruled that the parties would be notified when the judgment is ready.
The panel that heard the appeal included Justice Gumel (presiding Justice); Justice T.N. Orji-Abadua and Justice B.S. Sanga.