PDP Crisis: Sheriff Accuses Makarfi Of Frustrating Peace

PDP Crisis: Sheriff Accuses Makarfi Of Frustrating Peace
Mr Cairo Ojougboh

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has accused his political rival, Senator Ahmed Makarfi of frustrating reconciliation efforts brokered by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Briefing journalists in Abuja, Senator Sheriff’s Deputy, Mr Cairo Ojougboh, said the PDP National Working Committee has been talking to the leaders of the party to fix a date for a convention.

According to Mr Ojougboh, the PDP would go on with the convention even as Senator Makarfi’s group awaits judgement from the Supreme Court on the matter.

“The National Working Committee has adopted the position of the reconciliation committee as a working document and a working paper, and it’s not exhaustive.

“Any organ of the party or any person in the party that has any position to submit to the National Working Committee will also be studied.

“If Makarfi and his group feel that they don’t want political settlement and that they want to wait for the Supreme Court, it is their choice.

“But the party cannot remain stagnant waiting for them, so the party must continue.

“When they get to the Supreme Court and they come back, then we will know how to cross that bridge when we get there.

“All organs and 90% of the populace of the PDP including stakeholders have queued into the issue of reconciliation and convention, and the convention must hold,” he said.

Mr Dayo Adeyeye
Mr Dayo Adeyeye

However, spokesman for the Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee, Mr Dayo Adeyeye, insisted that Senator Sheriff has been the one frustrating the peace efforts.

“As far as we are concerned, that agreement states clearly that all parties should resign then our lawyers will meet to draw up an agreement that we can present to the Supreme Court as a voluntary judgement that we have fully agreed to before the court.

“This can provide both legal and political solution to the crisis, but Sheriff has rejected that,” Mr Adeyeye said.

Former President Jonathan and other leaders of the PDP have urged the warring factions to settle their dispute out of court.

Alleged Contempt: Sheriff Threatens To Jail Makarfi, Others

Ali Modu Sheriff, Ahmed Makarfi, PDP, PDP Crisis
PDP National Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff

The crisis rocking the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) does not appear to be abating, even with the judgement of the Court of Appeal.

The National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has asked the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to jail his rival Senator Ahmed Makarfi, and some of his loyalists over what he described as ‘contempt of court’.

The former Borno State Governor and the PDP National Secretary, Professor Wale Oladipo, accused Senator Makarfi and others of flouting the order of the court which was delivered on February 17, 2017.

The Appeal Court had in addition to pronouncing Sheriff as the PDP National Chairman, ruled that the removal of the National Working Committee was wrong while the constitution of the caretaker committee was illegal.

Apart from the former Kaduna State Governor, Senator Sheriff also listed three other prominent leaders of the party as those to be jailed by the appellate court.

Others named as alleged contemnors are the two other members of the sacked National Caretaker Committees, Senator Ben Obi (secretary) and Mr Dayo Adeyeye (publicity secretary), and a former Minister of Aviation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode.

In the suit with APPEAL NO: CA/PH/349/2016, Sheriff asked the court to commit the four persons to prison for one year over the alleged contempt.

Apart from the four contemnors, he also listed a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Emeka Ihedioha; a former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana; Chairman, Board of Trustees of the party, Senator Walid Jibrin; and an aspirant to the office of the party’s national chairman, Mr Bode George, as alleged contemnors.

Close Down Factional Secretariat

The PDP National Chairman, however, did not pray the court to commit Ihedioha, Gana, Jibrin and George to prison.

Rather, he asked the court for an order restraining them from “proclaiming or otherwise holding out to the public that the first to third alleged contemnors are national officers of the PDP for any purpose whatsoever”.

Listed as defendants in the case are the PDP, the Independent National Electoral Commission, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the Department of State Services (DSS).

Senator Sheriff and Professor Oladipo asked the court to stop Senator Makarfi and his group from parading themselves as national officers of the party.

PDP, Ahmed Makarfi
Senator Ahmed Makarfi

They also asked the court to direct the IGP and the DSS to close down the factional secretariat being operated by the Makarfi group.

Apart from that, the duo prayed the court not to transmit the records of the court proceedings to Markarfi and his group, saying they didn’t have the permission of the party to get it.

Defy Court Order

Oladipo, who signed an affidavit in support of the claim, stated that on February 17, “soon after the judgment was delivered, the alleged contemnors proceeded to address the media and to comment negatively, contemptuously, disparagingly and contumeliously on the findings and order of the court set out above.

“Rather than accept that the justice of the matter as determined by this honourable court was as expressed in the findings, holdings and order set out above, the fourth to eighth alleged contemnors made statements encouraging the first to third respondents to defy the order of the court and flout the purpose of the court’s judgment delivered on the 17th of February 2017,” he said.

The PDP National Secretary claimed that it was on this basis that the alleged contemnors placed notices in newspapers, where they convened a meeting of what they called “PDP stakeholders.

“The said meeting was held on Monday, February 20, and was attended by the fourth to eighth alleged contemnors, who made further statements encouraging the first to third alleged contemnors to defy the holdings and order of the court”.

Purpose Of The Judgment

The motion on notice for the committal of the alleged contemnors was filed by eight lawyers, led by a former Minister of Justice, Akin Olujimi, who was joined by two other Senior Advocates of Nigeria – Dr. Alex Izinyon and B. E. Nwofor – among others.

“The actions of the alleged contemnors, as shown in the affidavit in support of this application, have the effort of flouting the purpose of the judgment of this Honourable court, which purpose is to properly regulate the exercise of powers by the alleged contemnors against the applicants and first respondent; avoid any further anarchy, lawlessness and deepening crisis capable of heating up the Nigerian polity; and establish the requirements of the rule of law and due process in the administration of justice.

“Although the alleged contemnors were not parties to the action in court, it is our humble submission that they have a responsibility to ensure that they do not aid and abet the disobedience of the judgment order or treat the said judgment with disdain and disrespect,” the lawyers stated.

Senator Markarfi and the other faction of the party are believed to have filed an application seeking for stay of execution of the judgment and leave for appeal.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of Sheriff’s case, which was filed on February 24, 2017.‎

We Held Our National Convention Despite Police Action – PDP

AdeyeyeThe Police may have sealed off the Sharks Stadium venue of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) National Convention, but the party says this action did not stop it from holding the exercise.

This is according to the spokesman of the Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee, Mr Dayo Adeyeye who insisted that holding the convention outside the earlier planned venue does not invalidate it.

Speaking to Channels Television in Port Harcourt, Mr. Adeyeye confirmed that the tenure of the Makarfi Caretaker Committee has been extended by one year.

The Nigerian Police had cordoned off the venue of the planned National Convention citing the ruling of a Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday barring the PDP from holding the convention.

Justice Okon Abang ruling in a motion filed by a factional chairman of the party, Ali-Modu Sheriff, also restrained the Inspector General of Police and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from supervising or monitoring the planned convention pending the determination of the substantive suit.

The Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Police, Donald Amunah defended the action, maintaining that the that the police got conflicting orders and as a neutral body they have to take charge.

However, the party moved to their secretariat in Port Harcourt, held the convention and announced the extension of the Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee by one year at the end of the exercise.

INEC Receives 19 Governorship Candidates for Edo Election

INEC, Edo ElectionThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says that as at Tuesday night, 19 political parties have submitted the names of their candidates for the Edo governorship election.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 had been fixed as the final day for political parties to submit names of candidates that will represent them at the September 10, 2016 governorship election.

The commission has, however, not declared which of the two candidates submitted to it by the two different factions of the PDP would be recognized by it for the election.

The factions of Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi and embattled Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff have held parallel primaries where Mr Osagie Ize Iyamu and Mr Mathew Iduokiymhen emerged.

The electoral umpire says it is seeking wider legal consultations based on different legal cases hanging over the issue to be able to determine which of the candidates to recognize.

The embattled chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ali Modu Sheriff, ignored a Federal High Court judgement that sacked his faction of the party by issuing a Certificate of Return to a parallel governorship candidate in the forthcoming election.

There are two elections in Edo and Ondo states where the PDP is expected to participate in the next few months.

PDP Caretaker Committee Calls For Modu Sheriff’s Arrest

Ahmed-Makarfi, Ali Modu Sheriff, PDPThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caretaker Committee, led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi has called for the arrest of factional leader, Ali Modu Sheriff for contempt of court.

Spokesperson for the committee, Mr Dayo Adeyeye, told journalists on Friday in Abuja that the issuance of a certificate of return to a parallel candidate by the Sheriff group was illegal.

He noted that the judgements of the court must be obeyed as both groups work to resolve the impasse in the party.

In a swift reaction, the factional Deputy Chairman of the PDP, Mr Kairo Ojugbo, faulted the Makarfi faction’s claim, saying that their leader has not committed contempt of court.

Mr Ojugbo insisted that Senator Sheriff remains the National Chairman of the PDP.

The leadership crisis in the party took a new dimension when the Ali Modu Sheriff faction issued a certificate of return to a parallel PDP candidate in the forthcoming governorship election in Edo State.

The issuance of the certificate was sequel to the ruling by Justice Abdullahi Liman of the Federal High Court that the PDP national convention held on May 21 in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital was legal and did not go contrary to any law.

However, Mr Sheriff went ahead to present a certificate of return to Mr Matthew Aighuhuenze as the PDP flag bearer in the Edo State governorship election.

There are two elections in Edo and Ondo states where the PDP is expected to participate in the next few months.

Sheriff Dares Court, Presents Parallel PDP Candidate For Edo Election

PDP, SheriffThe embattled chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ali Modu Sheriff, has issued a Certificate of Return to a parallel governorship candidate in the forthcoming governorship election in Edo state.

This is despite a Federal High Court judgement in Port Harcourt on Monday that sacked his faction of the party.

Mr Ali Modu Sheriff presented the certificate to Mr Matthew Aighuhuenze as the party’s flag bearer, after the chairman of his delegates congress committee, Ahmed Gulak, presented the reports of his primaries to the group in Abuja.

The event is a new twist to the leadership tussle the party is grappling with, as the Ahmed Makarfi-led caretaker committee of the PDP also flagged off the campaign of their own candidate for the same election on Monday in Benin City.

Mr Sheriff says his faction will, in the coming days, flag off a campaign for their own candidate in the same state.

A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, had granted reliefs sought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the controversies trailing the changes effected in the party’s leadership.

According to Justice Abdullahi Liman of the Federal High Court 1, the national convention held on May 21, 2016 in the state capital which removed Sheriff as chairman, was legal and did not go contrary to any law.

The trial judge also held that the dissolution of the National Executive Committee, the National Working Committee and the constitution of a caretaker committee to oversee the affairs of the party by that convention was valid.

Meanwhile, the embattled chairman has headed to the Appeal Court.

Mr Sheriff told journalists in Abuja shortly after the court ruling that he remained the chairman of the party until the Court of Appeal sets aside an earlier ruling of a Federal High Court in Abuja which was in his favour.

PDP Crisis: Court Okays Port Harcourt Convention, Caretaker Committee

PDP leadershipA Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, has granted reliefs sought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the controversies trailing the changes effected in the party’s leadership.

According to Justice Abdullahi Liman of the Federal High Court 1, the national convention held on May 21, 2016 in the state capital was legal and did not go contrary to any law.

The trial judge also held that the dissolution of the National Executive Committee, the National Working Committee and the constitution of a caretaker committee to oversee the affairs of the party by that convention was valid.

The court stated that in pursuant of the constitution of the party, the former acting national chairman of the party, Ali-Modu Sheriff had no powers to unilaterally postpone the convention on a day all delegates had converged on Port Harcourt.

Sheriff Appeals 

Meanwhile, the embattled chairman of the PDP has headed to the Appeal Court.

Mr Sheriff told journalists in Abuja shortly after the court ruling that he remained the chairman of the party until the Court of Appeal set aside an earlier ruling of a Federal High Court in Abuja which was in his favour.

According to him, the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt is of equal ranking with that in Abuja and therefore cannot make him vacate office until a higher court rules otherwise.

Meanwhile, a statement signed by Ahmed Makarfi after the court ruling in Port Harcourt has appealed to the embattled chairman to sheath his sword and join hands to build the party.

PDP Crisis: Sheriff Heads To Appeal Court

PDP crisisThe embattled chairman of the PDP has headed to the Appeal Court after a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt recognized the Ahmed Makarfi-led caretaker committee as the only legitimate organ of the party.

Mr Sheriff told journalists in Abuja shortly after the court ruling that he remained the chairman of the party until the Court of Appeal set aside an earlier ruling of a Federal High Court in Abuja which was in his favour.

According to him, the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt is of equal ranking with that in Abuja and therefore cannot make him vacate office until a higher court rules otherwise.

Meanwhile, a statement signed by Ahmed Makarfi after the court ruling in Port Harcourt has appealed to the embattled chairman to sheath his sword and join hands to build the party.

A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, has granted reliefs sought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the controversies trailing the changes effected in the party’s leadership.

According to Justice Abdullahi Liman of the Federal High Court 1, the national convention held on May 21, 2016 in the state capital was legal and did not go contrary to any law.

PDP Crisis: Caretaker Committee Insists INEC Cannot Recognise Sheriff

PDP Ali Modu SheriffThe Caretaker Committer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), formed after some leaders of the party removed Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the part’s chairman, has asked the judiciary to avoid being used to truncate Nigeria’s democracy.

The spokesman for the committee, Mr Dayo Adeyeye, made the statement while addressing reporters in Port Harcourt on Saturday.

Mr Adeyeye stated that the seeming confusing court judgments and injunctions obtained from various courts to resolve the leadership crisis in the party was a dangerous trend in the polity.

According to him, the recent order of court that the Ali Modu Sheriff-led faction should be recognised by the Independent National Electoral Commission in the Edo and Ondo elections was not sustainable.

Dayo-Adeyeye
The Spokesman for the Caretaker Committee, Dayo Adeyeye, believes the court orders are of no effect

“The idea of using the court to force yourself to take control of a party is something I have not seen before. It is anathema to democracy.

“But they got the order and the order is really of no effect.

“On Tuesday and Wednesday, there were judgments of the court in Abuja. One was to the effect that the amendment of the constitution in 2014 that made it possible for Bamanga Tukur to succeed Mu’Azu was illegal and unconstitutional. That is a judgment not an order,” he told reporters.

The crisis in the PDP had become obvious after some leaders of the party removed Senator Sheriff at a convention held in Port Harcourt.

Before his removal, Senator Sheriff had declared the postponement of the convention, citing a court order which he said had prohibited the party from holding a convention.

The development showed a divide in the party, with a Caretaker Committee led by Senator Markafi formed to take care of the affairs of the party.

Senator Sheriff has, however, continued to claim that he is the chairman of the party, obtaining court injunctions that gave him the authority to preside over the affairs of the party.

Some members in the Markafi-led faction have accused Senator Sheriff of sabotaging the efforts of the party to reorganise itself ahead of some elections.

Some of the party members in Sheriff’s faction have also asked other party leaders in opposition to recognise Senator Sheriff as the chairman of the party and consider resolving the crisis through further talks.

Ali Modu Sheriff Annuls Plateau State PDP Congress

Ali Modu Sheriff, PDP, PlateauThe former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has nullified the party’s congress in Plateau State.

The embattled PDP Chairman made the annulment when aggrieved members of the party visited him to ask for a fresh congress to elect a chairman in Plateau State.

The delegation led by a former member of the House of Representatives from the state, Mr Bitrus Kaze, alleged that the congress which was conducted in April was not credible.

In his response, Senator Sheriff told the gathering that a new committee would be inaugurated to conduct a fresh congress that would elect principal officers for the PDP in Plateau State.

In a related development, he had on Thursday set up another committee to conduct primaries for three PDP governorship candidates in Edo State, who have bought forms from his faction.

He said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had sent the party their guidelines for the primaries, expressing preparedness to meet up with all the requirements set by the INEC for the September election.

Cripple The PDP
In a swift reaction to this, the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee condemned the move by Senator Sheriff, after Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu had emerged winner of the party’s primaries held on Monday.

MakarfiThey accused him of working with the enemies of the PDP to completely cripple the party in the interest of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The committee insisted that the Edo primary election and all the processes leading to it thereof, were properly conducted, monitored and observed by the INEC.

The emergence of the two factions of the PDP is a fall out of the party’s Governors Forum meeting where some leaders of the party removed Senator Sheriff and set up a caretaker committee.

However, the embattled Chairman told reporters when he was refused entrance into the PDP National Secretariat that he remained the chairman of the party until 2018.

PDP Governors Insist Modu Sheriff Is Not Party Chairman

PDP-GovernorsArising from a meeting on Thursday, the PDP Governors Forum has insisted that it would not recognise Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as chairman of the party.

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP had commenced series of meetings aimed at resolving the internal crisis that threatens the unity of the party.

One of such talk sessions is that comprising the governors and Board of Trustee members held at the Ondo State governors lodge in Abuja, after supporters of the anti and pro Ali Modu Sheriff group besieged the party’s secretariat.

They also explained why they withdrew their support for Senator Sheriff at the aborted Port Harcourt convention after giving him the assurance that he had their support.

Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, who was once a vocal supporter of Mr Sheriff’s ambition of becoming the party’s substantive chairman, told Channels Television that they were against “anything that will make Sheriff turn such an opportunity into telling us that he wants to become President of Nigeria”.

“After caretaker, we intend to make sure we support you to be substantive chairman and you’re promising people everywhere that they should come and be your vice president, I cant be part of it,” he said.

The Caretaker Committee Chairman, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, also told journalists that the crisis in the party is fueled by forces outside the party.

For a record second time, the gate of the National Secretariat of the PDP was locked down after supporters of the two contending parties to the leadership of the party surrounded the party’s secretariat in Abuja.

The Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Sen. Walid jubril, after receiving the key, said that the secretariat would remain locked until the issues are resolved.

The decision of the BOT Chairman to lock down the national secretariat was not enough to calm the protesters, as angry protesters forced their way into the premises just moments later.

 

Stakeholders Meet To Resolve PDP Crisis

Anambra PDPThe National Assembly caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) and state governors of the party are meeting in Abuja to address the latest developments in the party.

The meeting is expected to look at ways of resolving the tussle for leadership in the PDP.

The Sen. Ahmed Makarfi-led caretaker committee of the party had accused the party’s former National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, of working in connivance with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to destroy the PDP.Ali Modu Sheriff

Spokesperson for the Caretaker Committee, Mr Dayo Adeyeye, told journalists at a press conference in Abuja that the party intelligence reports confirmed that the embattled Chairman of the party was working for the APC to disorganise the PDP ahead of the Edo State elections.

In a swift reaction, the Chief Press Secretary to Ali-Modu Sheriff, Mr Inuwa Bwala, described the accusations as baseless, saying that time would tell who was being sponsored by forces outside the PDP with the sole objective of destroying the party.

The APC on the flip side also described the allegation as baseless, saying the PDP was suffering from its past misdeeds.