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Court reaffirms Sheriff’s sack as PDP national chairman; as INEC awaits final decision on right candidate for Edo 2016

Senator Ali Modu Sheriff
Senator Ali Modu Sheriff
Justice Valentine Ashi of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Friday, threw out the motion by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) factional chairman, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff asking the court to set aside its judgment that sacked him from office.
Sheriff had approached the coach after a High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, affirmed the sacking of the embattled senator by the national Convention of the party.
In the ruling, Justice Ashi described the motion as lacking in merit and an abuse of court process.
He therefore urged politicians across the country to learn to accept defeat and not attempt to use the court to achieve goals they failed to score in the political field.
It would be recalled that a Federal High Court (FHC) sitting in Port Harcourt, had last Monday upheld the removal of Senator Modu Sheriff as the National Chairman of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The court declared the May 21 National Convention of the party which sacked Sheriff and subsequently appointed Senator Ahmed Makarfi as interim national Chairman, as legal, saying its decisions did not violate any known law or the constitution of the party.
Justice‎ Mohammed Liman, who delivered his judgement in a suit brought to the court by the National Caretaker Committee of the PDP dismissed all grounds of defence put up by former National Chairman of the party, Senator Modu Sheriff.
It would be recalled that a similar court in Abuja had, Wednesday, ordered Sheriff and other officers of the party to refrain from parading themselves in those capacities.
It is also understood that the ruling invalidates another Abuja Federal High Court ruling, last Thursday, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to only recognise candidates endorsed by the Ali Modu Sheriff-led National Working Committee of the party for the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States.
The Ahmed Makarfi-led faction had conducted its own primary which produced Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as candidate.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said, Friday, it would await final outcome of court cases in deciding on People’s Democratic Party (PDP)’s candidate for the governorship election in Edo.
Deputy Director, Voter Education and Publicity, INEC, Mr Nick Dazang, disclosed this in Abuja.
Two factions of PDP led by National Caretaker Committee Chairman, Sen. Ahmed Markafi and disputed National Chairman of the party, Ali Modu Sheriff, conducted separate primaries to pick candidate.
The Makarfi’s group, supported by all organs of the party, including the Governors’ Forum and the Board of Trustees, conducted its primary on June 20 in Benin and elected Osagie Ize-Iyamu as candidate.
On June 29, in another primary also in Benin, but was not supervised by INEC as required by the Electoral Act, Sheriff’s faction picked Matthew Iduoriyekwemwen as the party’s candidate for the Sept. 10 election.

Insisting on final pronouncement of the court of the issue, Dazang said, “as at now we have not received the certified true copy of the July 4 judgment of a Federal high Court, Port Harcourt, on the matter.
“We are waiting for that judgment and other judgments so that we can study them.
“The commission, after studying the judgment and the advice from its lawyers, will then take a position, but we are still waiting for the last judgment which was the one on July 4.
“It will be like from next week by the time we receive them and when the commission sits, a position will be taken.
“It is when the commission has done that that it will then decide on any faction or candidate it is going to accept.’’
It will be recalled that Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja had on June 30, affirmed Sheriff as the PDP National Chairman and ordered INEC to recognise any candidate presented by him.
But, a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt on July 4 held that the May 21 national convention that removed Sheriff as chairman and constituted the National Caretaker Committee was duly constituted.
The court also declared that the dissolution of the National Working Committee and the National Executive Committee by that convention was valid.
In the judgment, Justice Abdullahi Liman, declared that the appointment of the caretaker committee to oversee the party’s affairs was legal and in line with the provisions of PDP Constitution.

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