•says Port Harcourt National Convention was duly convened by NEC headed by Sheriff
•says National Convention has constitutional power to appoint committees
Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Thursday declared that Former Acting National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff was validly removed by the legally constituted May 21, 2016 National Convention of the party which held in Port Harcourt .
The PDP further declared that the Caretaker Committee of the party headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi was duly appointed in line with the Constitution of the party.
The party stated that the National Convention was convened by the National Executive Committee headed by the former National Acting Chairman, Senator Modu Sheriff, who himself participated in pre-convention events including his participation in the screening exercise.
Making the submission on behalf of the PDP at the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt presided over by Justice Abdullahi Liman, counsel to the PDP, Oladejo Laminkanra (SAN) in an originating summons stated that: “Modu Sheriff submitted himself for screening at the Port Harcourt National Convention. Realising that he has lost his bid to be national chairman, Modu Sheriff alone without consent and consultations with the National Executive Committee claimed he postponed the convention. Modu Sheriff had no such powers to postpone a convention approved by the National Executive Committee. “
Submitting further, the PDP averred that: “Modu Sheriff is not the chairman of PDP. He was never elected at any convention and he is subject to the extant judgment of AB Mohammed J (FCT High Court, which Modu Sheriff is curiously seeking to enforce.
“The FCT High Court Justice AB Mohammed had in judgment of 18 May 2016 in FCT/CV/1443/2016 rejected Modu Sheriff’s argument that he is PDP Chairman until 2016. “
The PDP argued that no court stopped the party from holding its national convention. It added that the National Constitution of the PDP was also never suspended, hence the National Convention derived its powers from the party’s constitution.
The party stated that the interim order of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt stopping Modu Sheriff from parading himself as PDP Chairman was still subsisting.
The PDP stated: “The Interim Orders could not possibly lapse when Modu Sheriff had an application asking court to set aside same order. It could not possibly lapse when Modu Sheriff was asking the name PDP to be struck out from the suit.
“An interim order met with the applications mentioned does not lapse until 14 days after arguments are taken. That is 14 days from May 16, 2016”.
He noted that the suit was filed by the PDP and not Senator Ahmed Makarfi and Senator Ben Obi as claimed by the Former Acting National Chairman of the party.
Earlier, Former Acting National Chairman of PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff urged the court to dismiss the originating summons.
The Former Acting National Chairman through his counsel, Ajibola Oluyode filed applications asking the court to set aside the interim order directing him to stop parading himself as Acting National Chairman.
The former acting national chairman also urged the court to strike the name PDP from the suit and subsequently strike it out.
Justice Abdullahi Liman adjourned the matter to July 4, 2016 for judgment.