PDP Govs Meet Over Conflicting Court Orders On Leadership | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


PDP Govs Meet Over Conflicting Court Orders On Leadership

Police At PDP Gate
Posted: May 25, 2016 at 5:47 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


*As Police Relax Siege On Party’s Secretariat


Rotimi Akinwumi



State governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had a marathon meeting in Abuja on Tuesday with a view to quickly finding a way round two conflicting court orders over the authentic leadership structure of the party.

The party had been polarised into three factions following the conduct of parallel conventions at the weekend in Abuja and Port Harcourt by two contending interests within the party’s fold.

However, the group that held its convention in Port-Harcourt further broke into two, following the refusal of the immediate past chairman of the party, Ali Modu-Sheriff, to accept his removal from office by the convention, which instead, put in place a Caretaker Committee headed by former Kaduna State Governor Ahmed Makarfi.

The police had taken control of the party’s secretariat on Sunday to forestall trouble following alleged report that different factions were preparing for showdown over control of the party secretariat.

Putting the party into further crisis on Tuesday, two conflicting court orders emanated from Lagos and Port Harcourt giving recognition to two different factions as leaders of the party.

The Federal High Court in Port-Harcourt had early in the day given total recognition to the caretaker committee headed by Makarfi while some hours later, another order emanated from the Lagos court, gave recognition to Modu-Sheriff as the party’s national chairman.

The presiding judge, Justice A. M. Liman, granted an interim injunction restraining Modu-Sheriff and Professor Adewale Oladipo, the national secretary, who were removed from office at the PDP National Convention held in Port Harcourt on Saturday, May 21, 2016, from parading themselves as national officers of the party pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice brought before it by the PDP.

It also barred any member of the National Working Committee of the PDP who was removed from office by the National Convention from receiving nominations and or submitting names to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as officers or candidates of the PDP in whatever capacity pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice brought by the party.

In addition, INEC was restrained by the court from according or continuing to accord any recognition to Sen. Modu-Sheriff, Professor 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, pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.

The National Caretaker Committee of the PDP headed by Sen. Markarfi, former Governor of Kaduna State, also got a boost with an order of the court mandating INEC to recognise it in all matters pertaining the conduct of Primary Elections for Political Offices and the submission of the PDP List of Candidates for any elections to be conducted by INEC pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.

But the court in Lagos declared the Caretaker Committee illegal, while it gave recognition to Modu-Sheriff as the National Chairman of the party.

News had gone round very early in the morning that Makarfi, backed by the governors was set to resume at the party’s secretariat.

All the party’s administrative staff who spent their day under trees beside Skye Bank situated opposite the PDP secretariat, also resumed there yesterday awaiting the arrival of the new caretaker committee chairman.

Just like Monday, the police yesterday barred the staff from accessing the party secretariat.

However, news filtered in that the governors were locked in a meeting, looking for ways out of the quagmire.

It was also said that some members of the Jerry Gana inspired Concerned PDP Stakeholders Forum, which held its own convention in Abuja last Saturday, were also present at the meeting.

The report of the meeting was still being awaited as at press time.

However, there were signs that the problem might have been resolved to an appreciable level as policemen were seen hurriedly vacating the PDP premises yesterday at about 5;15pm.

The two trucks used to block the access road to the secretariat were moved away while quite a number of the police personnel were seen boarding their Hilux vehicles and moving away.

But two other Hilux trucks were used to replace the trucks moved away while the private entrance at the back of the party office for the exclusive use of the chairman remained locked.

As at 6:10pm, no one was yet granted access into the party office premises.