The Supreme Court will on May 25 hear the appeal filed by the Ahmed Makarfi faction of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), challenging the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Port-Harcourt, which recognised Ali Modu Sheriff as the authentic chairman of the party.
Ahmed Makarfi, Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of PDP, had approached the apex court to challenge the affirmation of Mr. Sheriff as National Chairman of the party.
A five-man panel of the apex court, led by Justice Musa Datijo Mohammed, chose the date after granting leave to the 1st and 2nd respondents (Sheriff and PDP’s National Secretary, Adewale Oladipo) to regularise their processes.
They were represented by Akin Olujinmi (SAN).
The court equally agreed to hear on same date, a motion filed by the Sheriff-led leadership of the party, challenging the legitimacy of the appeal filed in the name of the PDP by the Makarfi faction, which had been sacked by virtue of the Appeal Court judgment.
Thursday’s proceedings were witnesses by many stalwarts of the two factions fighting for the party leadership.
The spacious courtroom was full to the brims.
Those sighted included Makarfi, Senator Ben Obi, Prof. Jerry Gana, a former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Tom Ikimi and the Spokesman for the Makarfi faction, Dayo Adeyeye.
The DailyBells Nigeria recalls that the two factions have laid claims to the national leadership of the party.
The tussle later took parties to the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division where Mr. Sheriff was affirmed as the authentic national chairman of the party.
Dissatisfied with the appellate court’s decision, the Makarfi-led faction approached the apex court seeking the upturning of the decision of the lower court.
However, Lateef Fagbemi, counsel to the first respondent (PDP) had challenged the ground upon which the Makarfi-faction appealed against the decision of the lower court.
His ground was that by virtue of the judgment of the Appeal Court, Mr. Makarfi no longer had any right to enter an appeal in the name of the party without Mr. Sheriff’s consent.
“The issue is simple; the party is not interested in appealing against the national chairman of the party, so, we shall be withdrawing the pending appeal.
“So far, the judgment has not been set aside and no order for stay of execution has been obtained by Makarfi-led group.
“There is a judgment at the Court of Appeal that recognised Sheriff as the authentic chairman of the party’’, he said.
Supporting the argument canvassed by Mr. Fagbemi, counsel to Mr. Sherriff, Akin Olujimi, said the court should decide the motion for withdrawal filed by PDP before entertaining any other appeals.
On his part, Wole Olanipekun, counsel to Mr. Makarfi submitted that the court reserved the right to approach the case from any direction.
According to him, the stage is now set for the case to kick-off as all the processes have been turned in.
He also said counsel to parties must reserve their energies by not making attempts to enter into the substantive matter.
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