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PDP Crisis: Sheriff Moves To Stop Makarfi’s Appeal At Supreme Court

modu-sheriff

PDP National Chiarman, Ali Modu Sheriff

Olusola Fabiyi, John Alechenu, Fidelis Soriwei, Ade Adesomoju  and Olaleye Aluko

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ali Modu Sheriff, has commenced moves to stop any appeal to the Supreme Court seeking to challenge the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, which affirmed him as the authentic leader of the party.

He has therefore applied to the apex court for the withdrawal of an appeal filed in the name of the party by the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction.

The appeal, with number SC.133/2017, was filed on February 27, 2017, in the name of the PDP by the Makarfi-led caretaker committee to challenge the February 17, 2017 judgment of the Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal which affirmed the Sheriff-led executive as the authentic leadership of the party.

In their motion to discontinue the appeal before the Supreme Court, Sheriff and his National Secretary, Prof. Wale Oladipo, argued among others, that no ground of law supported the appeal.

The motion was filed at the Supreme Court on March 16, 2017.

Filed through their lead counsel, Chief Akinlolu Olujinmi (SAN), the motion stated that more importantly, by virtue of the Court of Appeal’s judgment, Makarfi and other members of his faction were not the alter ego of the party and such were incompetent to institute any legal process in the name of the party.

It stated that none of Makarfi, Senator Ben Dayo Obi and Adeyeye could continue to act in any capacity as the representatives of the party.

The court paper read in part, “More importantly, however, the persons who have instigated the filing of the appeal and instructed lawyers to act for the appellant (namely Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Senator Ben Obi, and Mr. Dayo Adeyeye, who continue to style and parade themselves as the ‘National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party’), do not have the authority or power to do so.

“The corporate personality of the appellant can only be invoked by its legal alter ego, vide the National Working Committee/National Executive Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, consisting of the first and second respondents (Sheriff and Oladipo)  and other officers represented by them, not Senators Ahmed Makarfi, Senator Ben Obi, and Mr. Adeyeye, who are not officers of the appellant (the PDP) at all, as confirmed by the judgment of the lower court .”

In an affidavit filed in support of the motion, Oladipo, who deposed to it, stated that a letter had been written to Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), to stop acting as counsel for the PDP,  adding that the duo of Mr. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) and Dr. Alex Iziyon (SAN) had been appointed in his (Olanipekun’s) stead.

Oladipo stated, “I also know that as a fact that  a letter was also written to Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) requiring him to stop acting as counsel for the Peoples Democratic Party as he was never authorised by the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party appeal.

“The said Senators Makarfi, Obi and Mr. Adeyeye have so demonstrated disrespect for the judicial process and the proceedings before this honourable court by their utterances.

“I know as a fact that the Peoples Democratic Party has not authorised anyone, including Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) to file any appeal against the judgment of the lower court delivered on February 17, 2017.”

Respondents to the appeal by the Makarfi-led faction’s of the PDP are Sheriff, Oladipo, the Independent National Electoral Commission, the Inspector-General of Police and the Department of State Services.

Dickson, Makarfi exchange words over leadership tussle

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the National Reconciliation Committee of the PDP, Governor Seriake Dickson, has accused Makarfi of using blackmail to stall the party’s peace process.

He also accused Makarfi, who was the chairman of the ousted National Caretaker Committee of the PDP, of employing various antics to frustrate the resolution of the crisis in the former ruling party.

Dickson, who is the Bayelsa State governor, said this in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Sunday.

According to him, he and several other party leaders at different times made proposals aimed at ending the war of attrition in the leadership of the party, alleging that the refusal of Makarfi and some of his supporters to accept present realities was stalling the process.

In a separate interview with The PUNCH, Makarfi, who is the former governor of Kaduna State, stated that the issue was not about his person but about the overall interest of the PDP and Nigeria’s opposition.

Dickson said Makarfi was one of several party leaders who earlier pleaded with him to support the emergence of Sheriff as the chairman of the PDP when he (Dickson) opposed the move.

Dickson added, “I opposed Modu Sheriff’s entry as chairman; I thought there were other roles he could play. But some of my colleagues and other leaders thought otherwise, including most of these people who are calling names.

“I stayed in Abuja for three weeks and spoke with BoT members, other elders, and I want to thank them for the little regard they have always given to me.

“We went to Port Harcourt and we had an inconclusive convention because of court cases and a lot of controversies. It became imperative for the party to set up, for the first time, a national caretaker committee.

“So, His Excellency, my elder brother, Makarfi, for who I have a lot of respect (I am not going to trade insults with him) … the way he is blackmailing me and saying all kinds of things.

“Most of the people, who are talking about Sheriff today were the people promoting Sheriff while I said no. You can verify that from anywhere.”

The Bayelsa State governor explained that despite any misgivings anyone might have, Sheriff currently remained the PDP’s national chairman.

Dickson added, “If there were to be a bye election in Kaduna, Makarfi’s state, Makarfi today is not in a position to send a name to the Independent National Electoral Commission for INEC to accept.

“That is the political reality everybody in the PDP needs to accept, whether you like Sheriff’s face or not. I don’t support Sheriff and what he has done, but I acknowledge that reality.

“The reconciliation committee, which I have chaired for quite some time, met to review our position in the light  of the Court of Appeal’s judgment and we said look, let us formulate a realistic, practical and strategic response  to that reality because in the end, it is all about strategy.”

Dickson noted that one of the party leaders brokered a peace plan which would have seen Makarfi and Sheriff stepped down but that while Sheriff agreed to the condition, provided Makarfi also stepped down, the former Kaduna State governor declined.

In his reaction, Makarfi, who admitted that the Bayelsa State governor met with him a number of times, said it was not right to meet him alone and ask that he should negotiate.

Makarfi, who spoke in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents on Sunday, said the crisis in the PDP was not about his person but about the right things being done.

He stated, “All I have been saying is that any discussions should be with the organs of the party and anything they accept, I am duty bound to accept.

“Agreed he came to me and I believed he came in good faith, not with any ulterior motive. I told him that members of my committee and I are implementers of decisions of the organs of the party, he should go back to the party organs but instead of doing that, one or two hours after, he went and submitted his report to Sheriff.

“It is after submitting the report to Sheriff that he started going round to speak to organs of the party.  How do you do that?”

Makarfi added that contrary to insinuations in some quarters, he was not opposed to earlier suggestions that himself, Sheriff and all members of the party leadership should step down for the party to start afresh.

On his part, Adeyeye, who is the Publicity Secretary of the sacked National Caretaker Committee of the PDP, accused Dickson of not encouraging reconciliation in the troubled party.

He said, “The way Governor Dickson is going about this committee seems he does not want reconciliation, because you cannot be attacking one group at all the times – attacking the Makarfi group. We are not comfortable with that.

“It is not true that we have been stalling the peace process. General Gusau at one time brokered peace among us, and it was Sheriff that did not allow it to work. There was never a time that Sheriff offered to resign as Governor Dickson claimed.

“Therefore, our position on the reconciliation efforts by Governor Dickson is that one; he has not even met with the caretaker committee. This is our problem.”

Adeyeye can’t speak for PDP –Sheriff

In a related development, Sheriff said it was wrong for a member of the sacked National Caretaker Committee, Adeyeye, to be speaking for the party.

He said the former minister of state for works should desist from using the logo of the party and from speaking on its behalf.

Sheriff stated this in a statement by the party’s acting spokesman, Mr. Bernad Mikko, in Abuja on Sunday.

He said, “For the umpteenth time, the attention of the National Working Committee of the PDP has been drawn to statement credited to Adeyeye in a desperate attempt to curry empathy, seek public attention and undeserved political relevance.

“It is hereby disclaimed that Adeyeye cannot speak for the PDP or use its logo and franchise without the authority and express permission of the national leadership of the party.”

Mikko alleged that Adeyeye was merely interested in his governorship ambition, adding that the ex-minister made this clear at a meeting he held with party leaders shortly after the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, sacked the caretaker committee.

When contacted, Adeyeye said he would not react to the statement, adding that if he would, his reaction would come in form of a statement on Monday (today).

Also, Mikko said the issue of factions had been settled by the Appeal Court judgment, stating that the issue before the PDP was the way forward.

He said, “The way forward is to go for our National Convention as recommended by the Governor Dickson Peace and Reconciliation Committee, which has given us a template on the way forward.

“The NWC has accepted the committee’s recommendation because it is all inclusive. The template is for everyone; every peace loving Nigerian, who is a member of the PDP or loves our party should follow it.      (Punchng.com)

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Jonathan’s Peace Move In PDP Collapses |The Republican News

cec85-president-goodluck-jonathan5b15d

Goodluck E. Jonathan

Olusola Fabiyi, John Ameh and Kamarudeen Ogundele

The move by some leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party to use what they called ‘‘political solution’’ to settle the lingering leadership crisis in the party appears to have failed as declared by the two camps in Abuja on Thursday.

The sacked National Caretaker Committee, led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, said only the Supreme Court would adjudicate in the crisis.

It added that the National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, should vacate office immediately, saying the former governor of Borno State was illegally occupying the office of the chairman of the party.

Sheriff however declared that it was unfortunate that the caretaker committee was insisting on going to the Supreme Court, stating that he would meet the committee at the apex court if it insisted on going ahead with the appeal.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan, at a recent meeting with the governors elected on the platform of the party in Abuja, promised to use political solution to settle the crisis in the party.

Spokesperson for the caretaker committee, Mr. Dayo Adeyeye, while speaking with journalists in Abuja on Thursday, said Sheriff should vacate office immediately.

He said there were about two judgments, which he said had earlier nullified the appointment of Sheriff, adding that none of the judgments was appealed by the former governor.

He said, “Only the Supreme Court will settle the matter. Even if the Supreme Court rules in their favour that the convention was illegal, we will use the judgments of other courts to demand that he should resign and go.

“Firstly, let us remind the public of our earlier calls on Sheriff to stop parading himself as chairman of the PDP following the judgment of an Abuja High Court delivered by Justice Valentine Ashi on June 29, 2016, in which the court nullified the 2014 Amendment to the PDP Constitution that produced Senator Sheriff as Acting National Chairman of the PDP.

“This judgment was never appealed by Sheriff and the time frame stipulated by law for the appeal has elapsed; and as such, the judgment subsists.

“So, he is an illegal national chairman.

“Secondly, another judgment delivered on August 17, 2016 by Justice Nwamaka Ogbonnaya of the FCT High Court in Abuja re-affirmed the sacking of Sheriff as the chairman of the PDP on the grounds that the judgment of Justice Valentine Ashi, which nullified his appointment, has not been set aside or vacated and therefore it’s subsisting.

“Once again, he is currently an illegal chairman given the decisions of the courts, the constitution of the PDP, decision of the national convention coupled with his act of breaking and gaining entry into the national secretariat of our party, Wadata Plaza.”

Adeyeye also disowned the report of the Reconciliation Committee presented to Sheriff by its Chairman, Mr. Seriake Dickson, who is also the Governor of Bayelsa State.

He said the committee was illegal, arguing that it had since ceased from existing because the party did not have any standing committee.

Adeyeye stated that the committee, like others, had been dissolved and that its report was therefore not acceptable.

“We respect our Governor, Seriake Dickson, and acknowledge his effort towards holding the next National Convention but he acted hastily and presented the proposal in error to Senator Sheriff,” he added.

Adeyeye said though his faction was still interested in finding a solution to the crisis in the party, there was no way the faction would allow Sheriff to preside over the proposed national convention.

“We want to state unequivocally that the party will not hold any National Convention under the leadership of Senator Sheriff. We are determined to pursue the matter before the Supreme Court conclusively in the interest of justice, equity, fair play and democracy in general,” Adeyeye stated.

But Sheriff, who spoke through Bernard Mikko, said he didn’t appeal the high court judgment, which sacked him, because he was never a party to the case.

He stated that it was sad that the Makarfi group had decided to pursue its appeal at the Supreme Court, adding that the apex court did not belong to anyone.

Mikko added, “Sheriff was never a party to the case they are talking about, so he couldn’t have been affected.

“On the issue of finding a political solution, we all agreed to it. But if they say they are going to the Supreme Court now, that’s okay. We will meet there.

“The court was never made for anyone. They have the right to appeal the judgment. We have no objections to this.”

He equally said that it was wrong for the group to reject the Dickson committee report.

“They can’t reject what was not submitted to them. The former National Chairman, Alhaji Bamangar Tukur, set up the committee and the committee worked.

“We want to do the convention and they are saying no. Who are they working for?”

Stop insulting my person, enough is enough, Sheriff tells Fayose

Sheriff, on Thursday, warned the Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, to desist from making what he described as “derogatory remarks” against him, saying “enough is enough.”

Sheriff also defended the medical trip of President Muhammadu Buhari, insisting that every living human being could be sick, and that the sickness of anybody should not be made a political issue.

The former Borno State governor spoke with journalists in Abuja after the meeting of members of the PDP National Working Committee, where he stated that the party had accelerated the recommendations of the party’s Standing Committee on Reconciliation, headed by Dickson.

On Fayose, Sheriff said, “Let me make it clear to some of the party members, particularly, Ayo Fayose. I will not condescend to his level.

“I must be very clear to him, party has rules and we will look at the constitution at the appropriate time to do the right thing. He has made it a point of duty; every day, he will be insulting Ali Sheriff. I want to tell him that enough is enough.

“Belonging to a political party is by choice. Yes, you may have a right, but your right should not trample on another person’s right. Political party is a voluntary association. If you are a leader of a political party, we have to allow people to have their choice of leadership.

“In all these things we are doing, we believe that the PDP belongs to all Nigerians, we believe that PDP must be handed over to the owners.

“That does not mean a sign of weakness. The PDP has produced 28 governors, and today it has 12. If we allow impunity to continue, Nigerians have the right to reject our party. You can take a horse to the river but you can’t force it to drink.

“We can make this party attractive to everybody. We want to reposition the party so that it can win elections. Nobody has the monopoly to do what he is doing, like we don’t have the rule of law.”

On Buhari’s medical vacation, Sheriff believes the absence of the President has not affected the issue of governance in the country. He said the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, had been conducting the affairs of governance creditably.

He said, “Every living human being, including you, will get sick. Sickness of anybody should not be a political issue. If people believe that because a president of a country is sick, we now act on the newspaper to make it a political issue, that means we are not a good opposition party. I don’t think it is correct because in this country, there are sets of rule.

On Dickson recommendations, Sheriff said it would be subjected to further approval by the National Executive Committee of the PDP, adding that all organs of the party would be required to submit the list of their members to facilitate the nomination of members to the convention planning committee.

He explained that he had taken it upon himself to unite all party members. He said that he had spoken to all governors of the party, including Fayose, with the exception of the Rivers State Governor, Nyesome Wike.

Meanwhile, Fayose has restated his opposition to the Dickson committee report.

In a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, on Thursday, Fayose said, “I respect Governor Dickson; he is my brother and he is entitled to his own personal opinion just as I am entitled to mine. But I must state it categorically that no genuine lover of the PDP will take part in a convention sponsored by the APC.

“All constitutionally recognised organs of the party, including staff of the national secretariat, are with the Markafi led Caretaker Committee and since political party is about membership, Sheriff will continue to carry with himself the burden of lack of legitimacy.”

The governor, who said he had nothing against Dickson, added that the implementation of the report was beyond Sheriff.

“With the APC calling for support for Sheriff, it should be clear to all genuine lovers of the PDP who are those behind the crisis in the party.

“I am speaking for myself and the entire people of Ekiti State that I represent; we won’t be part of any PDP convention sponsored by the APC and I must state categorically that Sheriff is being sponsored 100 per cent by the APC.

PDP Reps clash again over Makarfi, Sheriff

The division in the PDP caucus of the House of Representatives deepened on Thursday as two groups held separate meetings at the National Assembly.

One of the groups had only two members who made public appearance.

The main caucus, led by the House Minority Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor, is backing the Makarfi-led caretaker committee of the party.

The majority of the 134 members of the caucus belong to this group.

Another faction, led by a member from Edo State, Mr. Johnson Agbonayinma, is backing Sheriff as the PDP chairman.

The Agbonayinma group goes under the name of ‘Concerned PDP House of Representatives members’.

It claims to have “other members”, who are backing Sheriff. It has endorsed the reconciliation efforts of Dickson.

“We endorse Sheriff the National Chairman of our great party and commend Dickson and members of the reconciliation committee for their bold initiative in resolving the long-lasting crisis in the party,” Agbonayinma told a news conference soon after his own meeting ended.

However, it was only one member from Ekiti State, Mr. Oni Olamide, who appeared at the session with him.

Ogor had earlier convened a meeting of the main caucus, where they agreed to back Makarfi.

When contacted for his reaction to the moves by the Agbonayinma group, Ogor dismissed them as “unknown quantity.”

He added, “I have 140 members, but one or two may have contrary opinion. That does not mean that the caucus is not intact. We are focussed.

“How many are these people who call themselves ‘concerned PDP Reps?’ Let them mention five members in that group.

“The caucus speaks with one voice and we have decided to meet with the PDP governors in conjunction with our colleagues in the Senate.

“By Tuesday, next week, you will hear more. We believe that there is a case before the Supreme Court, which must be pursued to the letter.”

Asked whether the caucus was in support of the reconciliation efforts by Dickson, the minority leader stated that Dickson had yet to consult the National Assembly on whatever he was doing.

“We are very important stakeholders and Dickson has not consulted us,” he added.

On his views on whether a political solution could resolve the crisis, Ogor said a political solution would not stop the case at the Supreme Court from going on till the end.

He said Sheriff was functioning illegally at the national secretariat with only three National Working Committee officers, adding that the quorum of the NWC remained two-thirds, that is, eight members.

The Rep stated that the appointment of Dr. Cairo Ojuogboh and Mr. Bernard Mikko as members of the NWC was illegal as they were neither elected into the NWC nor were they appointed to the NWC by the NEC.  (Punchng)

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PDP Members Have Right To Seek Alternative Platform Says Makarfi

ahmed-makarfi

Sen. Ahmed Makarfi

 

Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja

The sacked Chairman, National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has said members of the party are free to join other political associations to realise their political ambition.

He said neither him nor any member of the caretaker committee had, however, joined the proposed Advanced Peoples Democratic Party.

There have been reports that some politicians in the Makarfi camp are behind the move to register the APDP as a rival political party to the PDP, which is now under the leadership of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.

The party, which has been in a crisis for more than a year now, has been further polarised since the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, pronounced Sheriff, the former governor of Borno State, as the authentic national chairman of the PDP.

Though Makarfi had appealed the judgment, former President Goodluck Jonathan had stepped into the crisis with a promise to a find political solution to the protracted leadership tussle.

With a new political party about to be registered, which has the resemblance of the PDP, there are insinuations that one of the camps may not be sincere with the proposed deal.

Makarfi, a former governor of Kaduna State, has nevertheless exonerated himself and members of his committee from those seeking the registration of the new political party.

Speaking through the spokesperson for the caretaker committee, Dayo Adeyeye, Makarfi said his committee would not abandon the PDP for Sheriff.

Adeyeye, a former Minister of State for Works, said in a statement in Abuja, on Sunday, that the “National Caretaker Committee has no hands in the purported planned registration of the Advanced Peoples Democratic Party.”

He added, “We state clearly and without ambiguity that the National Caretaker Committee of the PDP is not, in any way, involved in the plans to register any party by the name of APDP or any other party for that matter.

“It is unthinkable that the National Caretaker Committee, which, without any doubt, enjoys the support of all the recognised organs of the party, will contemplate such a move.

“We, however, acknowledge and recognise the right of party members to seek an alternative platform to actualise their political dreams, which is an inalienable right guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Adeyeye stated that the caretaker committee “is holding leadership power in the party in trust for the millions of party” members, who, he said, instituted the committee at the national convention.

He said no collective decision had been taken on what to do with the party, stressing that if such decision would be taken, it would be done by party members at a properly constituted national convention.

The ex-minister added, “Whatever decision that will be taken on the PDP brand shall be taken by the owners of the party – the party members – at a properly constituted national convention, and not by a few individuals, no matter how highly-placed.

“For the records, no decision has been taken that the PDP should be abandoned and a new party formed out of the current structure. At least, no such proposal is before the National Caretaker Committee as of this moment.

“We reiterate our belief that the issues before the Supreme Court will be resolved on the side of truth and justice will be served in the interest of peace.”

In his reaction on Friday, Sheriff said the party was watching with keen interest the utterances of the Makarfi group, adding that it was wrong for any party leader to be encouraging members of his party to leave for other parties.

He explained that what was important to him and members of his national working committee was how to reconcile all the PDP members and strengthen the party ahead of the 2019 elections.

Sheriff, who spoke through the National Secretary of the party, Prof. Wale Oladipo, argued that the situation in the party was not as bad as being portrayed by the Makarfi group.

He said, “It is disheartening that they are asking members or encouraging them to go and form another party or even join existing ones.

“Since we can’t stop them from exercising their constitutional rights, they should not steal the franchise of our party.

“Makarfi, as a person, may not be part of those angling to leave, but he should help us tell them not to use the name of PDP in any form.”

Also speaking for Sheriff, his deputy, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, said there were facts that the Makarfi group wanted to clinch the 2019 presidential ticket of the party at all costs.

He said, “They are afraid that they won’t be able to get the presidential ticket. They have an inordinate ambition to be the presidential candidate at all costs.

“We are not stopping them, but in the PDP, things must be done properly and not through the back door. They are afraid, that’s why they are running from pillar to post, seeking to register another political party with our name.”

PDP is proud of Obasanjo, says Makarfi

Meanwhile, the national caretaker committee of the PDP has said the party is proud of the achievements of former President Olusegun Obasanjo while in office.

The Chairman of the sacked committee, Makarfi, who stated this in a statement in Abuja, on Sunday, said the party was happy that Obasanjo had joined the league of octogenarians in the country.

Makarfi said Nigerians would continue to remember Obasanjo’s style, which, he said, was unique.

While describing the former President as a quintessential leader, he stated that the PDP was proud of his (Obasanjo’s) legacies and achievements.

In the statement, which was signed by Adeyeye, Makarfi said, “80th birthday anniversary of OBJ, as the former President is popularly called, is not only a celebration of his sojourn on earth but a combination of the series of his achievements and indelible legacies in various sectors of our political, economic and social lives in Nigeria and beyond as a soldier, Head of State, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“For us in the PDP, Obasanjo remains a leader and a President Nigerians will continue to remember for his unique style and quality of leadership, the fulcrum for his policy formulations and implementations; and the ingenuity with which he pioneered the affairs of the country creditably on the platform of our great party, the PDP, from 1999 to 2007 and even after leaving office.

“We are proud of your heritage, Your Excellency.”  (Punchng.com)

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PDP: Makarfi Will Lose At Supreme Court, North Will Break In 2019, Says Primate Ayodele

babatunde-elijahayodele

Primate Babatunde Elijah Ayodele

By Seun Opejobi

Founder and General Overseer of the INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, Primate Babatunde Elijah Ayodele, has predicted that ousted Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ahmed Makarfi will not get justice at the Supreme Court.

Ayodele’s prophecy is coming at the heels of Makarfi’s decision to challenge the Port Harcourt Appeal Court ruling which affirmed former Borno State Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff as the authentic Chairman of the party.
Addressing journalists, the INRI founder also alleged that the seat of the Presidency is cursed, adding that the curse started since the era of Tafawa Balewa.
The clergyman warned that if the curse is not reversed, more misfortunes will befall anyone who occupies the seat.
Ayodele predicted the return of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar back to the fold of the PDP.
He said, “The Lord told me that there is a need to act on the presidency because, like I told you some months ago, there is a curse on the seat of the president since the time of Tafawa Balewa, and if this is not reversed, there is no one who will not have one misfortune or another. The people in power should take note.
“Fridays and Sundays should be dedicated to prayers for the Villa and this is the role of all religious leaders in the country.
“2019 will break northern Nigeria and the All Progressives Congress. Makarfi will not get justice at the Supreme Court while Atiku will return to the PDP and most of the people there who want to contest will not get a ticket. The former vice president may not achieve his mission there because Sheriff has a mission.
“I see a new party, a kind of strong alliance is coming; it is neither PDP nor APC.”               (Daily Post Nigeria)

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Sheriff Asks Court To Jail Makarfi, Obi, Others, For Contempt

 modu-sheriff

Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has asked the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to jail his arch-rival, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, and some of his loyalists.

Apart from the former governor of Kaduna State, Sheriff, who is also a former governor of Borno State, also listed three other prominent leaders of the party as those to be jailed by the appellate court.

Sheriff and the National Secretary of the party, Prof. Wale Oladipo, accused Makarfi and others of flouting the order of the court, which was delivered on February 17, 2017.

The court, in the judgment, had pronounced Sheriff as the national chairman of the party while it also upheld that Oladipo remained its national secretary.

Apart from Makarfi, others named as alleged contemnors are the two other members of the sacked National Caretaker Committees, Senator Ben Obi (secretary) and Mr Dayo Adeyeye(publicity secretary).

He also listed a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, among the alleged contemnors.

Sheriff, in suit number FHC/ PH/CS/524/16, asked the court to commit the four persons to prison for one year over the alleged contempt.

Apart from the four named above, the PDP national chairman also listed a former Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha; a former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana; Chairman, Board of Trustees of the party, Senator Walid Jibrin; and an aspirant to the office of the party’s national chairman, Chief Bode George, as alleged contemnors.

However, he did not pray the court to commit Ihedioha, Gana, Jibrin and George to prison, rather, he asked the court for an order restraining them from “proclaiming or otherwise holding out to the public that the 1st to 3rd  alleged contemnors are national  officers of the PDP for any purpose whatsoever.”

Listed as defendants in the case are the PDP, the Independent National Electoral Commission, the Inspector-General of Police and the Department of State Services.

The duo asked the court to stop Makarfi and his group from parading themselves as national officers of the party.

They also asked the court to direct the IGP and the DSS to close down the factional secretariat being operated by the Makarfi group.

Apart from that, they also asked the court not to transmit the records of the court proceedings to Markarfi and his group, saying they didn’t have the permission of the party to get it.

Oladipo, who signed an affidavit in support of the claim, stated that on February 17, “soon after the judgment was delivered, the alleged contemnors proceeded to address the media and to comment negatively, contemptuously, disparagingly and contumeliously on the findings and order of the court set out above.”

He added, “Rather than accept that the justice of the matter as determined by this honourable court was as expressed in the findings, holdings and order set out above, the 4th to 8th Alleged Contemnors made statements encouraging the 1st to 3rd respondents to defy the order of the court and flout the purpose of the court’s judgment delivered on the 17th of February 2017.”

He said it was on this basis that the alleged contemnors placed notices in newspapers, where they convened a meeting of what they called “PDP stakeholders.”

He stated, “The said meeting was held on Monday, February 20, and was attended by the 4th to 8th alleged contemnors, who made further statements encouraging the 1st to 3rd alleged contemnors to defy the holdings and order of the court.”

The motion on notice for the committal of the alleged contemnors was filed by eight lawyers, led by a former Minister of Justice, Akin Olujimi (SAN), who was joined by two other SANs – Dr Alex Izinyon and B. E. Nwofor – among others.

The lawyers said, “The actions of the alleged contemnors, as shown in the affidavit in support of this application, have the effort of flouting the purpose of the judgment of this Honourable court, which purpose is to properly regulate the exercise of powers by the alleged contemnors against the applicants and 1st Respondent; avoid any further anarchy, lawlessness and deepening crisis capable of heating up the Nigerian polity; and establish the requirements of the rule of law and due process in the administration of justice.

“Although the alleged contemnors were not parties to the action in court, it is our humble submission that they have a responsibility to ensure that they do not aid and abet the disobedience of the judgment order or treat the said judgment with disdain and disrespect.”

Markarfi and the other faction of the party are believed to have filed an application seeking a stay of execution of the judgment and leave for appeal.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of Sheriff’s case, which was filed on February 24, 2017.  (Punchng.com)

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PDP: Makarfi, Sheriff Prepare For Epic Battle At The Supreme Court

From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja, John Adams, Minna, Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti  and Laide Raheem, Abeokuta

  Barely 48 hours after the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, declared former Borno State governor, Ali Modu Sheriff, as authentic National Chairman of the  People Democratic Party (PDP), the gladiators in the party’s crisis are preparing for what could pass for the final battle.

While the Sheriff group has started consultation and moblisation, the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee has called for an emergency stakeholders meeting to decide next line of action. Also, the group is consulting legal experts, to prepare a watertight case at the Supreme Court.

Yesterday, Sheriff stormed Minna, the Niger State capital, where he had a closed-door meeting with former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, and ex-Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu.

Although details of the meetings were not made known to journalists, it was gathered it was not unconnected with the outcome of the appeal court ruling over the PDP crisis.   Speaking with journalists, after a two-hours meeting with IBB, Sheriff said the appeal court ruling was a victory for the party 

“My victory is for the PDP. There is no loser and no winner; it is just a misunderstanding within a family, and we are calling on everybody to come together so that the party can be a formidable one once again,” he said. On the purpose of his visit to General Babangida, Sheriff said: “IBB is our father. During our meeting, he said he was happy with my statement after the court’s ruling. He told me to continue that way, so that I can bring everybody back together to make the party a formidable opposition party.

“What we want to do now is to put the party back to shape, so that every aggrieved person is brought back as one united family once again. Look, united we stand, divided we fall.”

When asked if he reached out to Makarfi after the appeal court’s victory, he said: “I have called Makarfi himself, and I have called on everybody to come back, so that we can work together.”

Also speaking, former Governor Aliyu said: “Now we have a legal decision, which supports the position of the matter. Even though other people talk about going higher (Supreme Court), others are saying ‘No’, we should start widening the solution, that we don’t waste time in terms of legality.

“That is why, for the moment, until anybody is able to go higher and set aside the decision of the court, Ali Modu Sheriff is the chairman of the party. Those of us who love to see solution to this party will continue to find ways of mending it. I think we should all bury our ambitions; you can’t have an ambition without a platform.

“We need to all come together and appeal to all PDP lovers and members to really look at the issues objectively, so that we have a platform that we can call a party, which can win elections; not a fragmented party.”

IBB had earlier commended Sheriff for the manner he handled his victory at the appeal court, saying: “I am happy with your statement after the court ruling. It shows there is room for reconciliation and unity. There is the need to bring everybody back together to make the party a formidable opposition party.”

Meanwhile, the Makarfi faction has convened an emergency stakeholders meeting to discuss the appeal court’s verdict. Also, the faction has started consulting legal luminaries over the judgment on the party’s leadership tussle.

A highly placed source within the Makarfi group said it had become necessary to seek legal advice on the issue,  as Sheriff neither appealed against the judgment of the Abuja High Court nor obtained a stay of execution. The source said the Appeal Court in Port Harcourt merely nullified the convention that sacked Sheriff as party chairman, without dealing with the issue of his eligibility to be national chairman.

According to the source, with the judgment of the Abuja High Court still in force, and the nullification of the convention that set up the National Caretaker Committee, technically the party has no leadership at the moment. 

Ahead of today’s stakeholders meeting, the leadership of the caretaker committee met with a small group of  party leaders last night to critically appraise the situation and come up with an agenda in the stakeholders’ meeting.

Those expected to attend today’s stakeholders meeting include National Executive Committee ( NEC) members,  Board of Trustees (BoT) members, PDP National Assembly caucus, former PDP governors, former ministers on the platform of the PDP, party elders and former members of the National Assembly.

Eight governors in talks with us  -PDP National Auditor

The National Auditor of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Fatai Adeyanju, has disclosed that eight PDP governors out of 12 were already in talks with the Sheriff  executive council.

Speaking after Ogun State PDP General Assembly,  in Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State, Adeyanju also said members of the NWC in the Makarfi camp were in touch with Sheriff.

Said he: “There is only one PDP. There can be disagreement, but there is only one PDP and the PDP must come together and work together. So, we are talking to our people not to feel that somebody has won and somebody has lost. There is no victor and no vanquished.

“ Now that we know where we are going, and what we are going to do, the hand of fellowship will be extended to the other aggrieved members of the party. At present, there is no sacrifice that is too much for anybody to make in PDP.

Nigerians are tired of the problems within the PDP. You know things are going haywire; the present government is doing just anything, but if the PDP is strong and plays the role of opposition, we would check them and things would go down well.” Adeyanju revealed that Sheriff was considering stepping down before last Friday’s judgment, noting that he was still ready to do so for peace and normalcy to return to the party.

“We all want peace in this country and in this party. And if you want peace, no sacrifice is too much to make.”

Crisis won’t affect our  candidates’ chances –Fayose

Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, said the current crisis, rocking PDP would not affect the chances of its candidate in next year’s governorship election in the state. He also said the Supreme Court would make the final decision, even as he described Sheriff’s victory as temporary.

A statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi, quoted Fayose as saying: “Sheriff and his gang are only day dreaming. On our side are the governors, members of the Board of Trustees, the National Assembly caucus, former public office holders, party supporters in the grassroots. If they think they can inherit the party illegally, that is a pipe dream.‎ Those planning to invade the PDP secretariat here should be warned. They must not toy with fire.

“I‎ received a lot of calls from people over Friday’s judgment and the possibility of the development affecting our candidate here in 2018 poll. I want to assure you all that what they did in Edo and Ondo states cannot happen here. We are still under the leadership of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee and we are taking the matter to the Supreme Court.

“As for the chances of our candidate in next year’s poll, God is giving us an expected end and that is victory over the All Progressives Congress and their cohorts. Three things are critical to winning election, namely, the people, the party and the candidate. Of these three, the people are the most important and those with us are more than those with our opponents.” 

On the face-off between the state government and the Federal Ministry of Finance over the seized Budget Support Fund, the governor expressed delight that the matter had been resolved. He thanked the people and workers in the state for their support and understanding over the matter.

We won’t work with Sheriff –Fani-Kayode

Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has ruled out the possibility of the Makarfi faction of the PDP working with Sheriff. In a statement yesterday, he said: “Those that say that they will work with Ali Modu Sheriff are misguided and naive.   Worse still, anyone that calls for members of the PDP to rally behind him and recognise him as our national chairman is a simpleton and a fool.” 

He described Sheriff as “agent of destruction,” saying “no good can come out of him.”

The former minister said all the string elements in the PDP were against Sheriff, emphasising: “The PDP Ministers Forum stood their ground. At first, no one believed us until eventually 90 per cent of our party members lined up behind those of us that opposed Sheriff and that supported Makarfi.”  (The Sun)

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