Counter Court Orders Emerge On PDP Leadership     

PDPThe battle for the leadership of the Nigeria’s main opposition political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) appears to have shifted to the courts, with counter orders emanating from different courts.

In one case, a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has granted an interim injunction restraining the immediate past National Chairman and National Secretary of the PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Professor Adewale Oladipo from parading themselves as national officers of the party.

The duo were among the party officers removed from office at the PDP national convention held on Saturday, May 21, in Port Harcourt.

The court says this is pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice brought before it by the PDP.

A statement personally signed by the presiding judge, Justice A. M. Liman, says INEC has been restrained by the court from according or continuing to accord any recognition to Senator Sheriff, Professor Adewale Oladipo or any or all members of the National Working Committee of the PDP removed from office at the party’s national convention in Port Harcourt, as officers or organs of the PDP.

The court went on to ask INEC to recognise the National Caretaker Committee of the party headed by Senator Ahmed Markarfi.

But in a counter ruling, a Federal High Court in Lagos has declared as invalid the caretaker committee constituted to take over the affairs of the PDP from its acting National Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff.

Justice Ibrahim Buba directed the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, to enforce its order, barring the members of the committee, headed by former Governor of Kaduna State, Ahmed Makarfi from running the affairs of the party.


PDP National Convention Is Illegal, Gulak Claims

Ahmed-GulakThe former Political Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr Ahmed Gulak, has described as illegal, the National Convention held by the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Mr Gulak made the declaration on Sunday’s Politics where he noted that Saturday’s convention was not held in line with the PDP constitution.

“First and foremost, the party cannot be run by common sense, experience or by the powers that be. The party must be run in accordance with the provision of the constitution.

“Chapter 33 of the party’s constitution only mandates the Chairman to surmount and preside over the convention while Chapter 35 gives the National Convention powers to elect the new officers under the chairmanship or presided over by the national chairman,” he stated.

Violation of Court Orders

Claiming that Senator Ali-Modu Sheriff was still the present Chairman of the party, Mr Gulak said that the former Borno State Governor was slammed with a court order by Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos and another by Justice A.B. Mahmud of the FCT High Court, which made it illegal for such convention to hold.

“These two orders prevented the PDP and any of its officers from conducting convention to elect its first three officers that is the secretary, chairman and the auditor (and) while another order by the Abuja High Court, prevented the party from electing 18 officers including all the NWC.

“With these orders still valid and subsisting, no reasonable law abiding party officer will go ahead in violation of these court orders,” he said.

The former President’s aide explained that that was why the former PDP Chairman in the early hours of Saturday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State’s capital, convened a meeting with some of the members of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC), where they resolved that the convention was illegal.Ali-Modu-Sheriff-former-PDP-chairman

He said Senator Sheriff subsequently issued a press conference to suspend the convention until the issues of the court judgments and orders were sorted out.

Despite Senator Sheriff’s suspension of the convention, some members of the party insisted that the convention must be held as planned.

They further removed the Chairman and set up a working committee.

PDP Leadership Tussle: Nomination Delay Prompted Gulak – Jalo

PDPThe Deputy Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says that it was the delay in the nomination process of a new PDP chairman that prompted Mr Ahmed Gulak to go court.

Mr Abdulahi Jalo made the statement on Thursday while reacting to the controversy surrounding the appointment of the PDP National Chairman on Politics Today.

Mr Gulak and his supporters including Dr. Doyin Okupe, also an ex-aide to former President Jonathan stormed the National Secretariat of the party in Abuja on Wednesday where he told a news conference that he was assuming office as the National Chairman of the party.

Mr Gulak claimed that he had a court judgement in his favour.

Mr Abdulahi Jalo told Politics Today that Mr Gulak went to court with the assumption that it was as if the National Vice Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, wanted to perpetuate himself on the leadership position.

Jalo also spoke on whether it was right for the former Political Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan to take the party to court, “This is somebody who felt he could go to court and he is a lawyer, you cannot deny him.

“There is an internal mechanism of the party where there is this kind of problem, you can now put your petition to the Caucus or the Board of Trustees (BoT).

“Then the National Working Committee of the party will be invited with you so that you can sit down and iron things together,” he said.

Jalo also believes that the PDP’s new position as an opposition is one of the reasons for the crisis in the party.

He, however, stressed that the party was following the constitution and explained the process involved in appointing a new chairman.

“After the former chairman resigned (Mr Adamu Mu’azu), our constitution says that the vacancy should be filled by somebody from that zone and who is eligible.

“Honestly, the same constitution has made a provision that before then, some consultation has to be made and the governors of that zone (that is PDP governors from that area) and at the same time the stakeholders would sit down and put their minds together and nominate three people and forward it to the caucus of the party.

“Then from Caucus, it will come to the BoT and from BoT, it will come to NEC for approva.”

Jalo further provided more clarification on Gulak’s stance. “What I want the public to understand (is that) this chairmanship which Gulak is going to court on it is the remaining tenure of Adamu Mu’azu.

“This means the chairman that would be given that opportunity to serve will only serve before the convention of the party.”

He added that the party’s convention would zone offices.