The disputed National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, said he remained in charge until Court of Appeal’s decision on the position.
Sheriff made this known on Monday in Abuja while reacting to the judgment of a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, that the party’s May 21 National Convention that removed him as chairman was legal.
He told newsmen that he had instructed his lawyers to appeal the Port Harcourt judgement and to seek a stay-of- execution of the judgment.
“The court where the judge gave judgement in Abuja last week and the Federal High Court in Lagos and today’s court in Port Harcourt are all courts of the same competent jurisdiction.
“Therefore, the orders that we have in Abuja is still subsisting. What it means is that unless a Court of Appeal decides otherwise, I still remain the national chairman of the PDP.
“Courts that are of the same jurisdiction cannot overrule another court unless it is Court of Appeal. We disagree with today’s judgement completely.
“We have asked our lawyers immediately to file an appeal and also ask the same court for stay of execution, because there were three orders before this, which are of the same coordinate jurisdiction.
“ Unless and until Court of Appeal, which is a higher court, makes a pronouncement contrary to what we have, I still remain the chairman,’’ Sheriff said.
In his reaction, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, Chairman of the PDP National Caretaker Committee, called on Sheriff and his followers to accept the judgement and join the committee in moving the party forward.
“I am indeed happy with the judgement on the one hand but also sad that it had to come to this. For me, there should be no winner or loser in this matter.
“I am still calling on Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff and his followers to join us so that we accommodate one another and indeed all other groups in a just, fair and equitable manner,’’ Makarfi said.
The Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt had ruled that the May 21 national convention that removed Sheriff and constituted the Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee was duly constituted.
The court also declared that the dissolution of the National Working Committee and the National Executive Committee (NEC) 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 the PDP Constitution.
Liman said that Article 31 (1) of the PDP Constitution vested the powers to convene a national convention on the NEC of the party.
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