The Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Caretaker Committee, yesterday vowed to go ahead with the party National Convention fixed for next month in Port Harcourt.
Justice Obong Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja had on Thursday declared that the Convention held last May in Port Harcourt which led to the emergence of Senator Ahmed Makarfi was illegal, as he noted that it was held in defiance to the orders of a Lagos High Court restraining the party.
But addressing newsmen yesterday, spokesperson of the Senator Makarfi committee, Dayo Adeyeye disclosed that the ruling of Justice Abang did not restrain the Committee from proceeding with the scheduled convention. Adeyeye said the issue before the court was to determine the counsel that has the authority to represent the PDP and not the legitimacy of the Makarfi team.
He said: “The motion seeking to restrain the PDP from conducting the proposed August 17, 2016 National Convention has not been heard by the court and no date has been fixed for the hearing of same.
“What was before the court yesterday was the issue of who is the authentic legal counsel for the PDP between Ferdinand Orbih, SAN and O.O. Fakunle, SAN.
“The court in determining the question of legal representation held that the appointment of O.O. Fakunle, SAN by Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff was acceptable to the court.
“It must be emphasised that at no stage did the Honourable Judge set aside the judgment of Justice A.M. Liman of the Port Harcourt Division of the Federal High Court, which could have led to the dissolution of the National Caretaker Committee.
An order validating Sheriff as national chairman could not have arisen from the issue of proper legal representation.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the portion of the ruling relating to this is herein- under reproduced: “Though I have powers to nullify the decision of the Port Harcourt Division that recognised Makarfi leadership, I will not do so because there is no application to that effect before me. I will, however allow the Court of Appeal to do justice to that.”
“So, if the judgment of Port Harcourt wasn’t nullified by Justice Abang, it means the judgment subsists.
But speaking at a separate briefing, Senator Ali Modu expressed satisfaction over the order, which he submitted restrained Senator Makarfi from parading himself as national chairman. “The judgment of the court said anything done by Senator Makarfi from May till today remain a nullity. So, I wonder why Makarfi is still parading himself as national chairman. If he wants to be national chairman, he should offer himself for a proper convention and seek votes of delegates.”
Commenting on the judgment, Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT), Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Walid Jibrin has said that the latest court judgment that recognised Modu Sheriff as the national chairman of the party was a shocker, but added that the judgment will be appealed.
Senator Jibrin attributed the crisis in PDP to both internal and external forces, adding that the crisis as well as the court judgment will not stop Port Harcourt convention of the party.
Meanwhile, constitutional lawyer, Fred Agbeje, has said that the court ruling that said Modu Sheriff is the PDP national chairman is binding and must be obeyed, since it is the latest judgment on the matter.
According to him, it was the same group that went to court against Makarfi, saying, “we may not agree 100 percent with the judgment, but it has been to be obeyed, until it is appealed”.