Saturday, February 18, 2017 12:35 am
The Sen. Ahmed Markafi-led, National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the party would appeal the Court of Appeal Judgement affirming Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff as chairman of the party.
The National Publicity Secretary of the Committee, Mr Dayo Adeyeye disclosed this in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja.
Adeyeye described the judgement as a “big disappointment, travesty and miscarriage of justice.”
“The minority judgement is very sound in law, logic and fact. It gives us hope that we will have our day in the Supreme Court.
“Whereas the lead judgement left out the main issues and laboured unconvincingly to work to a preconceived answer, the minority judgement thrashed all the issues and upheld the judgement of the High Court in Port Harcourt, delivered by Liman J on July 4, 2016. `
“We will certainly appeal to the Supreme Court. No reconciliatory effort will stop it.
“We need the Supreme Court to make a pronouncement on the issue, once and for all,’’ he said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that apart from affirming Sheriff as the National Chairman of the PDP, the appellant court also nullified the party’s National Convention held in the Rivers capital in 2016 and the National Caretaker Committee of the party constituted at the convention.
Two out of the three-member Appeal Court, Justice B.G. Sanga and Justice A. Gumel, in the judgment, said the Port Harcourt convention was an abuse of court process.
Delivering the lead judgment, Sanga said that PDP did not follow the provisions of Article 47(3) of its Constitution in the removal of the Sherrif-led National Working Committee.
Meanwhile, the PDP former Ministers Forum has set up a committee to study the Port Harcourt Court of Appeal’s Judgment.
The former minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Alhaji Tanimu Turaki, disclosed this to newsmen after the forum met on Friday in Abuja.
Turaki said that the forum was shocked with the verdict of the Port Harcourt Court of Appeal.
“We the former ministers’ forum has set up a committee to obtain a copy of that judgment, study same and advise us on what possible option that can be taken against same.
“We have also resolved that we will lease with other stakeholders within the party. We will discuss with the governors forum, National Assembly Caucus of PDP, the Board of Trustees and the National Caretaker committee.
“We will very soon convene a more wider and enhance meeting of all PDP former ministers to consider the report of the committee that we set up to study judgment and advise us,’’ he said.
Turaki said that the forum would be taking it position at the enhanced meeting based on more inform position through consultation with all members and other stakeholders of the party.
The former minister said that while the forum awaits the committee report, it believed that the judgment must be appealed at the Supreme Court.
“By information at our disposal we feel that the judgment was given wrongly.
“Moreso, our position is given for the fact that it was a split judgment and so we believe that the party will and must appeal against the judgement for now until we hold a larger meeting of the forum.’
Turaki therefore appealed to all PDP members to remain calm and understand that the judgment was politics.
“Since this is politics, members of any political party will not be denied the right of electing the person they want to govern them as political party.
“Certainly this should not be different and cannot be different with PDP.
“We call on all members to remain calm even as different organ of the party is working to solve the problem we have found ourselves.’’
He said that the party leadership would do everything possible through consultation to boost the courage and restore the confidence of PDP members.
Turaki said that the party’s leadership by God’s grace would lead them to a convention that would elect credible leaders for PDP.
He also expressed confidence that PDP would get over its leadership tussle as it was not new to it.
In his own reaction, Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has enjoined PDP members not to be anxious over ruling of Court of Appeal.
This is contained in a statement signed by his Media Adviser, Mr Uche Anichukwu, on Friday in Abuja.
He said there was no cause for alarm, as the party leadership would meet soon to take a decision on the best way forward.
“I enjoin party faithful to remain steadfast as we will surely emerge stronger from the present challenges.
“Those dreaming about the death of the opposition in Nigeria will have to sleep much longer and still wake up to meet us much stronger.
“This is because a vibrant opposition is the beauty of democracy,’’ he said.