Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is to lead the 87-member committee to organise the December 9 national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
PDP National Caretaker Committee had at the weekend set up different committees that will organise the party’s convention in Abuja.
All the 11 governors elected on the platform of the party are members of the committees, which were announced by the National Organising Secretary, Senator Abdul Ningi, in Abuja on Friday.
The 14 committees are made up of 1,706 members.
The largest committee is that of Entertainment and Welfare, which has 248 members followed by the Venue and Protocol Committee with 238 members.
Meanwhile, a faction of the South-West zonal executive of the party has asked the Ado Ekiti division of the Court of Appeal to halt further proceedings on an application for a stay of execution pending before it.
The Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe-led executive in the zone specifically requested an adjournment of the hearing on an application for a stay of execution of the order of the Federal High Court, Ado- Ekiti.
The Eddy Olafeso-led faction of the party in the zone had appealed a November 8 ruling by the Federal High Court, Ado-Ekiti, which declared the Ogundipe-led executive as the authentic leadership of the party in the zone.
The court order also forbids the Olafeso-led group from parading itself as members of the South-West zonal executive and should not participate in the December 9 national convention as representatives of the zone.
But in a letter dated November 30, 2017 and addressed to the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Ado Ekiti Division, the Ogundipe-led executive said it was seeking a postponement of the hearing on the motion for a stay of execution brought by the Olafeso faction on Monday, December 4, 2017.
The Ogundipe-led executive said at no time was it or its counsel served with a notice of appeal before the records were purportedly compiled and transmitted from the trial court to the appellate court.
The letter read in part, “As the matter stands, the 1st to 5th respondents (Ogundipe, Pegba Otemolu, Lanre Orimoloye, Supo Ijabadeniyi and Femi Carenna) have not been served with the notice of appeal and I have been advised that the notice of appeal, being an originating process, ought to be served on us personally.
“Secondly, the implication of fixing the case for Monday December 4, 2017 (having served its former counsel at about 4pm on November 30, 2017) is that the 1st to 5th respondents would be unable to brief a lawyer to file any response to the two motions slated for hearing before this honourable court.”
The letter stated further that, “It is a matter of public knowledge that the 1st of December, 2017 is a public holiday in Nigeria, while the 2nd and 3rd of December, 2017, are non-working days, beingSaturday and Sunday respectively.
“The hearing of the appellants’ motions on the 4th of December, 2017, in the present circumstances would definitely violate the 1st and 5th respondents’ right to fair hearing.
“It is in the light of the foregoing that I humbly request that you use your good offices to have the hearing adjourned to another date to enable the 1st to 5th respondents to instruct counsel and be prepared for the hearing.”
The Federal High Court had ordered the Olafeso faction to stop parading itself as executive members of the party in the South-West.
The order of the Ado Ekiti Division of the Federal High Court was based on the fact that the Lagos Division of the court had, in June 2016, nullified the congress that produced the Olafeso group, having been held in violation of subsisting orders of the court.
Meanwhile, the chairmen of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 19 northern states and the FCT have rejected suggestions that the national chairmanship seat of the party be given to a particular zone in the South.
The chairmen, who announced their stance after a meeting in Abuja, however, reaffirmed their commitment to the zoning of two principal positions as agreed at the party’s national convention in Port Harcourt in 2016.
Chairman of the PDP states’ chairmen in the North, Hassan Hyat, who addressed journalists after the meeting in Abuja on Friday night, said the forum “rejected any move to restrict the seat to any particular zone”.
He said, “The position cannot be restricted to a particular zone in the South because that will disenfranchise other contestants. As state chairmen, we will not be a party to such an arrangement.
“The party’s decision at the Port Harcourt convention is final and binding on everyone. No one has the right to change it.”
The party had zoned the office of the national chairman to the South, while its presidential ticket for the 2019 elections would only be contested by the northern members.