The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Thursday declared that its former Acting National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, was validly removed by the legally constituted May 21, 2016 National Convention which held in Port Harcourt.
PDP also declared that the Caretaker Committee of the party, headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, was duly appointed in line with its constitution.
The party stated that the National Convention was convened by the National Executive Committee headed by the former National Acting Chairman, Senator Modu Sheriff, who himself participated in pre-convention events, including the screening exercise.
These were part of submissions made by the party before a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt presided over by Justice Abdullahi Liman, Thursday.
Making the submission, counsel to the PDP, Oladejo Laminkanra (SAN) stated in an originating summons that: “Modu Sheriff submitted himself for screening at the Port Harcourt National Convention. Realizing that he has lost his bid to be national chairman, Modu Sheriff alone, without consent and consultations with the National Executive Committee, claimed he postponed the convention. Modu Sheriff had no such powers to postpone a convention approved by the National Executive Committee.”
Submitting further, the PDP averred that: “Modu Sheriff is not the chairman of PDP. He was never elected at any convention and he is subject to the extant judgment of AB Mohammed J (FCT High Court), which Modu Sheriff is curiously seeking to enforce.
“The FCT High Court Justice AB Mohammed had in judgment of 18 May 2016 in FCT/CV/1443/2016 rejected Modu Sheriff’s argument that he is PDP Chairman until 2016. ”
The PDP argued that no court stopped the party from holding its national convention. It added that the National Constitution of the PDP was also never suspended, hence the National Convention derived its powers from the party’s constitution.
The party stated that the interim order of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt stopping Modu Sheriff from parading himself as PDP Chairman was still subsisting.
“The Interim Orders could not possibly lapse when Modu Sheriff had an application asking court to set aside same order. It could not possibly lapse when Modu Sheriff was asking the name PDP to be struck out from the suit.
“An interim order met with the applications mentioned does not lapse until 14 days after arguments are taken. That is 14 days from May 16, 2016”, PDP submitted.
He noted that the suit was filed by the PDP and not Senator Ahmed Makarfi and Senator Ben Obi as claimed by Sherrif.
Earlier, Senator Sheriff had urged the court to dismiss the originating summons.
Arguing through his counsel, Ajibola Oluyode, Sherrif filed an application asking the court to set aside an interim order directing him to stop parading himself as Acting National Chairman.
He also urged the court to strike the name PDP from the suit and subsequently strike it out.
Justice Abdullahi Liman adjourned the matter to July 4, 2016 for judgment.