The Ali Modu Sheriff faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, on Thursday, asked the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal to adjourn indefinitely the various appeals relating to the leadership tussle between it and the rival faction of the party led by Ahmed Makarfi.
The Sheriff faction, represented by its lawyer, Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN), urged the Justice Ibrahim Saulawa-led panel of the appeal court to put the hearing of the three appeals before it on hold, pending when the Port Harcourt Division of the court would deliver its reserved judgment on a similar case.
The Port Harcourt Division has yet to fix a date for its reserved judgment.
The three pending appeals before the Abuja Division, one of which was filed by Makarfi and the two others filed by his faction of the PDP, are with numbers, CA/A/402/2016; CA/A/402A/2016 and CA/A/402D/M/2016.
The appeals are mainly challenging the ruling of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja delivered on June 30, 2016 recognising Sheriff faction of the party as the one with authority to brief lawyers to represent the party in any court matter.
The Sheriff faction is represented as the first and second respondents in the three pending appeals before the Abuja Division by two members of the party in Ondo and Edo states, Chief Benson Akingboye and Ehiozuwa Agbonayinma, respectively.
The Independent National Electoral Commission is the third respondent in the appeals.
Olujinmi informed the three-man panel of the appeal court in Abuja on Thursday that he had filed a motion seeking the indefinite adjournment of the appeals in order to avoid the possibility of the court giving a decision that would conflict with that of Port Harcourt Division.
He said, “After reading all the processes in these appeals and those filed before the Port Harcourt Division, the central issue running through all of them has to do with the leadership of the PDP.
“Instead of dissipating energy to hear the appeals and opening another avenue for conflicting decisions of this court and the Port Harcourt Division, we took the view that the best thing to do is to implore your lordship to adjourn these appeals to await the reserved judgment of the Port Harcourt Division.
“The Court of Appeal is expected to resolve a number of conflicting decisions of the Federal High Court on this issue. The Court of Appeal should not run into the same problem.”
Counsel for Makarfi, the appellant in one of the three pending appeals, Mr. Yunus Ustaz (SAN), informed the court that he had been served with Olujinmi’s motion and had responded to it.
Ustaz said he was ready for the hearing of the application but urged that it should be heard along with the main appeal.
Counsel representing the PDP (Sheriff faction) in the appeal, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), said he would not oppose the application.
Also, INEC’s lawyer, Mr. Nelson Anih, said the commission would remain neutral by not opposing or supporting the motion.
But another lawyer representing the PDP (Makarfi faction) the other two appeals, Mr. Emmanuel Ukala (SAN), sought to be given time to respond to the motion because it would have impact in the other appeals involving him. (Punchng.com)