The Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Friday
affirmed a former Governor of Borno State, Ali Sheriff, as the
authentic Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The court set aside the judgement delivered by Justice Mohammed Liman
of the Federal High Court in Rivers State who recognized former Kaduna
State governor, Ahmed Makarfi as the leader of the party.
At the ruling in Port Harcourt on Friday two Justices of the court
Justice  D.G Sanga and Justice Gumel  Mohammed  gave the Chairmanship
of the PDP to Senator Ali Modu Sheriff while the only dissenting
Ruling came from Justice  Orji Agbadua.
In a terse judgment  both Justice Sanga who read the lead judgment
said that the care taker committee set up by the National of the party
was illegal and unconstitutional based on the manner that the National
Executive Officers  were sacked adding that the issue was resolved in
favour of the appellant.
The Judges condemned the Ahmed Makarfi caretaker committee knowing
that the  Senator Sheriff tenure  who is the National Chairman expires
in 2018.
The parties were ordered to maintain status quo as at 18th May 2016.
But in her ruling the  Justice Orji who quoted various sections of the
PDP constitution said the National Convention was supreme.
She said by section 33 of the PDP constitution the  National Executive
Committee  of the party has the right to summon or convene the
National Convention of the party and that the Chairman has the power
to preside over the National Convention.
She said the power to convene the National Convention of the party
rests with the NEC and not the National Chairman even when the
National Chairman can preside over the Convention.
She said having convened the National Convention the National Chairman
does not have the power to cancel or postpone it.
Justice Orji said it is a misconception on the part of the National
Chairman of the party to postpone or cancel the National Convention of
27th April 2016 especially as the Convention was not cancelled by the
National Executive Committee of the party stressing that assuming the
power to cancel the convention was ultra vires, most unfounded  and
outright fallacy.
She said the appointment of the care taker committee of the National
Convention was carried out in full  compliance  with the PDP
constitution as amended.
She said if the  appellant that is the former acting National Chairman
of the party Senator Ali Modu Sheriff felt  he was wrongly removed as
the National Chairman of the party he had the right to challenge his
removal in court but instead of challenging his removal he only
claimed that his tenure had not expired.
She therefore ruled in favour of the first Respondent Senator Ahmed
Makarfi and awarded a one hundred thousand Naira fine against the
Appellant Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.
Reacvting to the ruling the Deputy National Vice Chairman of the Ali
Modu Sheriff faction of the party Dr Cairo Ojuogo hailed the ruling
and called on the Ahmed Makarfi faction to join hands with them to
move the party forward but Senator  Ahmed Makarfi faction of the party
said they will appeal the ruling. This was made known by Senator Abdul

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