Sheriff’s Appeal Court victory; PDP Govs, BOT kicks … Markafi heads to Supreme Court

———-By Onitsha Shedrack,———-

The last may not have been heard on the victory Senator Ali Modu Sheriff at the Appeal Court in Port Harcourt as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum  and Board of Trustee has revealed that the party would appeal the judgement.

Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Senator Ahmed Makarfi

An Appeal Court sitting in Port Harcourt on Friday in a split decision ruling, where two judges, Justice B. G. Sanga and Justice A.A. Gumel in their judgement affirmed Sheriff as the PDP chairman, saw the third judge, Justice T.S Orji-Abadua, ruled against Sheriff, who is the first appellant in the matter.

Delivering the lead judgement, Justice Sanga said the party did not comply with its constitution in removing the executive of the PDP led by Sheriff.

He noted that a vote of confidence might be moved on any officer, but a two-month notice should be provided to the secretariat of the party, which would in turn circulate it to all members of the party.

He affirmed that PDP failed to comply with its constitutional provisions, especially Article 47(3)   in the removal of the Sherrif-led working committee, maintaining that the national working committee was not put on notice.

Justice Sanga said; “A vote of confidence may be moved on any officer, but in doing that, a two-month notice shall be provided to the secretariat of the party, which shall also be circulated.

“The way the (Sheriff) executive on May 21, 2016, showed that the party’s constitution was not complied with.”

Apart from affirming Sheriff as the National Chairman of the PDP, the appellant court also nullified the party’s National Convention held in the Rivers capital in 2016 and the National Caretaker Committee of the party constituted at the convention.

Reacting to the judgement, Sen. Ahmed Markafi-led, National Caretaker Committee of the PDP said the party would appeal the Court of Appeal Judgement affirming Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff as chairman of the party.

The National Publicity Secretary of the Committee, Mr Dayo Adeyeye disclosed this in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja, described the judgement as a “big disappointment, travesty and miscarriage of justice,”

According to him “The minority judgement is very sound in law, logic and fact. It gives us hope that we will have our day in the Supreme Court.

“Whereas the lead judgement left out the main issues and laboured unconvincingly to work to a preconceived answer, the minority judgement thrashed all the issues and upheld the judgement of the High Court in Port Harcourt, delivered by Liman J on July 4, 2016. `

“We will certainly appeal to the Supreme Court. No reconciliatory effort will stop it.We need the Supreme Court to make a pronouncement on the issue, once and for all.”

However, in his reaction, Governor Ayodele Fayose described the reinstatement of Senator Sheriff as the chairman of the party by the court as a rape of democracy.

“The outcome of the Port Harcourt Court of Appeal judgement that reinstated Ali Modu Sheriff as chairman against the will of the people is nothing but a rape on our democracy.

“If the people truly symbolise what a party is, then the machination of our detractors and anti-democratic forces will not prevail at last.

“Let me commend the minority judgement of the Appeal Court and I believe the truth will prevail; it is a matter of time.

“Let’s thank God we have another level to seek justice, which is the Supreme Court which I believe will not be delayed or denied because when it is delayed, it is denial,” he said.

“However, we plead with our members, sympathisers, leaders and supporters to calm down,” Fayose said.


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