Court Re-Affirms Sheriff’s Sack As PDP National Chairman

PDP crisisA Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has re-affirmed the sack of Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff as the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). 

The court, presided over by Justice Nwamaka Ogbonnaya, reaffirmed the sack on the ground that the judgment of Justice Valentine Ashi, which nullified his appointment on June 29 has not been set aside or vacated and is therefore subsisting.

The court further held that all actions taken by Sen Sherif are null, void and of no effect since the earlier order of Justice Ashi remains binding

The Court restrained Sen. Sheriff from further parading himself as the National Chairman of the PDP.

Justice Ogbonnaya also ruled that Sen. Sherif should stop taking any action or convening any meeting in the name of the PDP, until the earlier judgment of Justice Valentine Ashi is set aside or vacated.

Justice Ashi had in his judgment nullified the 2014 PDP Constitution amendment upon which Senator Sheriff is said to have been appointed as PDP Chairman.

The court described the amendment of the party’s constitution as illegal and a violation of the Electoral Act and, therefore, declared all actions carried out with the document, including anybody parading him or herself as officer of the party as illegal.

The leadership of the party has been faced with series of court orders after the controversial Port Harcourt National Convention which gave birth to the Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee.

Sen. Sheriff had challenged the legality of the Caretaker Committee, insisting he is the rightful leader of the party.

However, the court voided the said amendment on the basis that there was no compliance with mandatory provisions of Article 66 (2) and (3) of the PDP constitution.

“By reason of the above, the purported amendments introduced to the constitution on the aforesaid dates, are hereby set-aside.

“All persons, individuals, servants or agents of PDP parading themselves as national officers of the PDP pursuant to the purported amendment which has now been nullified are hereby restrained from further parading themselves in these capacities “, Justice Ashi said.

 

Sheriff Describes PDP Convention As A Huge Joke

Ali Modu Sheriff, PDP, PlateauThe factional Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sen Ali Modu Sheriff, has described the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the PDP which extended the tenure of the Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee by one year. 

He said, the said meeting was in breach of Section 31 (4) of the PDP Constitution, which makes the National Chairman the sole authority with a mandate to convene the NEC.

Sheriff said INEC has not been put on the mandatory three weeks’ notice, neither has he as Chairman been put on one week notice, even if it was an emergency.

He also called on members of PDP to disregard everything that may have taken place in Port Harcourt, as everything purported to have been done was in gross violation of a court order.

He further maintained that the Caretaker Committee does not exist in law, therefore, “Makarfi should stop parading himself as a PDP official”.

The PDP extended the tenure of the Ahmed Makarfi-led caretaker committee for one year after a vote of confidence was passed by national delegates at the party’s secretariat in Port Harcourt, the River State capital.

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.

PDP Northern Elders Vow To Support Candidates Who Will Protect Their Interests

PDP BoTNorthern Elders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have closed ranks ahead of the party’s upcoming National Convention, as they vow to support candidates who will protect their interests.

Conveners of the Forum told journalists in Abuja that they are in support of the zoning arrangement and other preparations by the Caretaker Committee to hold the convention in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

They, however, insisted that the interests of the North must be protected as the region remains critical to the survival of the party.

Although none of the members in the camp of Sen Ali Modu Sheriff attended the meeting, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr Walid Jubril, said the leadership problem of the party is coming to an end.

As it stands, some members of the PDP are set for the convention in Port Harcourt even in the face of disagreements from aggrieved members.

Appeal Court Reserves Judgment On Suit Challenging Ikpeazu’s Sack

okezie ikpeazu, Abia State, appeal court caseThe Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, has reserved judgment in an appeal filed by the Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu.

Mr Ikpeazu is challenging the judgment of the Federal High Court, which sacked him as governor of the state.

Mr Ikpeazu, had filed the appeal against the judgment of Justice Okon Abang delivered on June 27.

Justice Abang had ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to issue Ikpeazu’s challenger in the 2015 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), governorship primaries, Uche Ogah, a Certificate of Return after the court disqualified Mr Ikpeazu over alleged tax evasion.

The Appeal Court presided over by Justice Morenikeji Ogunwumiju last week dismissed the application of Alex Otti which sought to be joined in the matter as an interested party.

The five-man bench of the Court of Appeal also directed that parties to the case should not take further steps until judgment on the case is delivered.

Obasanjo Debunks Alleged Return To PDP

ObasanjoNigeria’s former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has described as mischievous a story, which has gone viral on the social media of his purported return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In a statement signed by the media aide to the former president, Kehinde Akinyemi, the former president said “those who know me, know that I have publicly announced my quitting partisan politics and those who will believe the purported story will believe anybody who tells him that his or her mother is not a woman”.

The statement adds that the former president was in Abuja on the invitation of the Commodities Association Stakeholders, to the “Zero Hunger Nigeria” event at the Musa Yar’adua Centre.

After the meeting commenced some people walked up to where he was seated and at closer glance, he recognized them to be politicians and they exchanged pleasantries.

“The former President cracked jokes with them calling them invaders and gate crashers.

“Those who know me, know that I have publicly announced my quitting partisan politics and those who will believe the purported story will believe anybody who tells him that his or her mother is not a woman.

“If I quit a party when it was alive and seemingly united, how could I go back to a now divided, factionalized party grasping for breath?” the statement added.

The statement further noted that the former president is calling for an investigation and sanction on anybody involved in spreading this rumour in order to serve as deterrent to others.

Imo North Rerun Election: APC’s Ben Uwajimogu Declared Winner

PDP, APC, Imo, Election, Imo NorthThe All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the Imo North Senatorial District election, Mr Ben Uwajimogu, has been declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Mr Uwajimogu, having scored 56,076 votes, beat his closest rival the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Mr Athan Achonu who polled 43,815 votes.

While announcing the results at the Central Collation Centre in Okigwe Local Government headquarters, the returning officer, Professor Arinze Agbaogu said the APC candidate having scored the majority and lawful votes in the election is hereby declared winner of the election.

Similarly, the APC candidate in Oru East, Nkenna Nzeruo and his counterpart in Isiala Mbano, Chiji Collins, were also declared winners of the State House of Assembly rerun elections in their area.

Sheriff Files Suit To Restrain PDP From Conducting National Convention

PDP, SheriffSacked factional chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and eight others have approached the Federal High Court, Abuja for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the party from conducting the national convention slated for August 17.

He also wants an order restraining the PDP from presenting anybody or sponsoring any person for election into its offices pending determination of the suit.

He asked for an ancillary order directing the Nigerian Police to enforce the orders of the court until all applications are disposed of.

While this was going on, the Ahmed Makarfi-led PDP approached an FCT High Court challenging the power of Justice Okon Abang to hear the suit filed by Senator Sheriff.

They specifically asked the court to restrain Justice Abang on the grounds that there is a circular from the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court restraining all judges handling PDP leadership tussle cases to stop further action pending the outcome of the appeals before the appellate court .

But the prayers were not granted by Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, who held that the application lacks merit, as the applicant who is listed as PDP is not a natural person as such not entitled to any fundamental human rights.

The Chief Justice of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta had on the July 8 directed all judges of the Federal High Court to stay clear of any matter concerning the PDP crisis pending the determination of appeals before the appellate court.

It is not clear if Justice Okon Abang, who is in procession of the case filed by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff will hear the case.

Sex Scandal Probe: Onyeama, US Ambassador, Again, Fail To Appear Before Committee

house-of-reps-to-reveal-lawmakers'-allowancesThe Minister of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday failed to appear before the joint House of Representatives Committee investigating allegations of sexual misconduct brought against three members of the House.

This is the second time the Minister, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama and the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle, have failed to appear before the Committee.

The Minster, in a letter to the Committee, said the time for the investigative hearing coincides with the Federal Executive Council meeting in the Presidential Villa.

The Committee had adjourned the meeting last week after another letter from the Minister said he will be away in Kigali, Rwanda for the extra ordinary meeting of the African Union and asked for another date.

The Committee, however, heard from the three lawmakers who denied the allegations brought against them.

The hearing is expected to resume on Thursday when the minister is expected to appear.

The United States Ambassador, Mr James Entwistle also failed to appear before the meeting.

Mr Entwistle, said there is proof that three members of the Nigerian House of Representatives were seen acting inappropriately in the US.

Mr Entwhistle is to present video evidence against them for alleged sexual misconduct.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

The House Committee Chairman on Capital Market, Rep. Yusuf Tajudeen, had challenged the U.S Embassy to come and place their facts in the sex allegation against federal lawmakers before the House.

He said the House of Representatives is expecting the U.S Embassy to provide video evidence of the allegations made against some members.

“We want them to place their facts and confront our colleagues” he said via a phone interview on Sunrise Daily.

He also maintained that the House is convinced that the accused were never engaged in solicitation for sex act.

Two All Progressive Congress (APC) lawmakers, Mohammed Gololo and Mark Gbillah, and one Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker, Samuel Okon, were alleged to have solicited for sex and sexually harassed a hotel housekeeper in Cleveland, Ohio.

 

Resign And Let Peace Reign, Sheriff Tells Makarfi

PDP, SheriffFactional Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. Ali-Modu Sheriff, on Monday gave conditions that must be met by the Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee for peace to reign.

He said the only condition for peace to reign in the party is if the caretaker committee led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi resign, because there is no place for the committee in the party’s constitution, therefore should be dissolved.

He stated this in Abuja while hosting a delegation of party members from the 17 local governments in Abia State.

Senator Sheriff had earlier at a peace meeting organised to resolve the crisis in the party ruled out the possibility of truce outside the court verdict, insisting the committee must go.

Instead, he proposed that he should be allowed to nominate a chairman, and ten persons into the new convention committee.

“People are very interested in our party and how the impasse will be settled before the Port Harcourt convention which was aborted by a court order,” he said.

“Yes, we have met and issues were discussed but all the issues I put forward for them was for the Makarfi-led caretaker committee to resign.

“It is an aberration as far as our party constitution is concern. I told them that I am not ready to be a permanent chairman but I want the party to be placed in proper stead.

“If he resigns tomorrow, I will ask the members of my NWC whose tenure still lasts to 2018, including myself, to set up a convention committee in Abuja and put respected members into the committee.

“In that convention, I will give away my mandate, which does not expire until 2018.

“If the leaders of our party feel that we can find a solution without exhausting the court process, then I am open to it; we can find a political solution.

“I have given the people the opportunity to see ‎that Sheriff is not the problem. The problem is that some people want to make the party their personal property and that will not happen under Sheriff.”, he said.

 

PDP To Hold National Convention On August 17

Kwara PDP, CorruptionThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has fixed August 17th for her national convention to hold in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The party is also set to begin the process of amending her constitution.

The announcement of the new date followed a meeting of the expanded caucus of the party which held at the Shehu Yaradua centre in Abuja.

The party has also named a committee to work out a new zoning arrangement for national offices.

The Chairman of the Party’s caretaker committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi assured members of a peaceful resolution of the party’s leadership crisis within the next two weeks.

He also said that the factional Chairman of the Party, Senator Ali-Modu Sheriff would be returning to the party.

Although Senator Sheriff was not at the meeting, one of his supporters, Senator Buruji Kashamu was in attendance, raising hope that peace may soon return to the party.

The party is also hoping for a peaceful conduct of governorship elections in Ondo and Edo States and ultimately reclaim power in 2019.

Ekiti: APC Members Stage Protest In Support Of Buhari’s Anti-Corruption Crusade

APC, Kaduna APC, APC AkidaMembers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State have staged a peaceful protest in Ado Ekiti, the state capital in support of the president’s anti-corruption crusade.

Speaking to newsmen during the rally, the Publicity Secretary of the Party, Mr Taiwo Olatubosun, alleged that Governor Ayo Fayose is holding on to Ekiti workers’ salaries in his private accounts.

“We will continue with the rally; we will continue with this mobilisation until we put a stop to the corruption happening in Ekiti”, he said.

Reacting to the protest, the Special Assistant to the Governor, Lere Olayinka said he is fully in support of the fight against corruption only if the fight proves to be free and fair.

Ondo/Edo Elections: Court Restrains INEC From Dealing With Makarfi-Led PDP

Synagogue, CourtThe Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and its officers from dealing with any persons or group other than the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff-led National Executive Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with respect to the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States.

Presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang also directed INEC & the PDP to accord all facilities required by law for the two polls to the Sen Ali Modu Sheriff National Executive Committee of the party as the authentic national leadership of the Party.

In granting the orders, the court considered among other things that there is no lawful & legitimate process that has removed the Sen Ali Modu Sheriff and Prof Adewale Oladipo as Chairman and Secretary of the PDP.

The orders are to subsist pending the hearing and determination of the originating summons filed by the plaintiffs, Mr Benson Akingboye and Mr Ehizuwa Agbonayinma against INEC and the PDP.