Appeal Court Strikes out PDP Leadership Tussle Suits


Alex Enumah in Abuja

The Court of Appeal in Abuja thursrday dismissed four of the remaining suits bordering on the authentic leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) between then Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and then Caretaker Committee Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi.

The decision to strike out the suits was sequel to the judgment given in respect of the prayers of the appeals by the Supreme Court.

The Appeal Court had adjourned for judgment in all the suits, however, when the matters came up, counsel to parties after making their submissions urged the Justice Ibrahim Salauwa-led three-man panel, dismissed to strike out the cases because it had become academic.

The applicant counsel all made applications for withdrawal in view of judgment of the Supreme Court in case SC/130/2017 on the PDP leadership tussle on June 12, 2017 which had apparently addressed all the issues in the appeals before the court.

In one of the cases between Markarfi, Ben Obi and four others vs. Biyi Poroye, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and seven others, the Appellant Counsel representing Makarfi, Olumide Olujimi, told the court that in view of the judgment of the apex court, the appellant would apply to withdraw its appeal.

Justice Salauwa, responding said: “We are bound by the decision of the Supreme Court which is the highest court in the land, on the principles of stari decisis.

“This appeals having been withdrawn is hereby dismissed with no cost attached.”
The same applied to all three other cases which were also filed by the Ahmed Markarfi faction of the PDP in the matters numbered CA/A/402/2016, CA/A/402A/2016, CA/A/402B/2016 and CA/A/551/2016.

The Supreme Court had on July 12, 2017, in its judgment in the appeal titled: SC/133/2017, nullified the earlier judgment of February 17, 2017, delivered by the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division which had recognised Sheriff as the authentic chairman of the party.

The verdict of the apex court consequently removed Ali Modu-Sheriff as Chairman of the PDP and affirmed the Caretaker Committee of Makarfi as the party’s authentic leadership.