A 3 man panel of the Supreme Court of Nigeria has upturned the judgment of court of appeal in Port Harcourt Rivers state, that affirmed Ali Modu Sheriff as the authentic national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party.
In the lead judgement read by Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivor, the apex court held that the PDP national convention held in Port Harcourt that dissolved the party’s National Executive Committee was constitutional.
The court declared that the National convention that appointed Ahmed Makarfi led caretaker committee was properly constituted in accordance with the constitution of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The apex court in affirming Makarfi’s leadership also held that the dissolution of the National executives at thẹ Port Harcourt convention was constitutional.
While Sheriff was absent at the court, Makarfi and other notable PDP members including former spokesperson of the party Olisa Metuh, Uche Secondus, Rivers state governor Nyesom Wike, his Ekiti state counterpart Ayodele Fayose, former deputy speaker of House of Representaives Emeka Ihedioha and former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido whose 2019 presidential campaign posters littered the overhead bridge close to the apex court was also present.
Jerry Gana former minister of information, Obi Nwabueze, former Labour Party chairman, Dan Nwanyanwu a former minister of women affairs, Zainab Maina were also amongst the party stalwarts that stormed the court premises.
Speaking with journalists after the judgement, Ayodele Fayose, Governor of Ekiti state said : “this is a judgement of truth and for justice and this represent hope and future for Nigeria, the attempt to silence the opposition has come to an end and by the grace of God, the party is set for victory in 2019”.
Former Deputy speaker house of representative, Emeka Ihedioha also said that the judgement was a victory for democracy, victory for the rule of law,
“We will reach out to those who want to work for the party but those who have decided to be the clog in the wheel of progress can go”, he added.
Jerry Gana, former minister of information, who expressed his optimism about the judgement, also said that it was a victory for democracy and the rule of law.
“We are excited, we congratulate the Justices because the judge has set the motion for powerful process of Justice in Nigeria”.
It will be recalled that the two factions had laid claims and counter claims to the national leadership of the Party.
The issue culminated in the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division’s judgment, which affirmed Sheriff’s faction as the authentic faction and Sheriff as the National Chairman of the Party.
Not satisfied with the appellate court’s decision, Makarfi-led camp filed an appeal at the Supreme Court, challenging the competence of the appeal and praying the court to set aside the judgment of the Port Harcourt division of the Appeal Court.
SEYI ANJORIN, Abuja