A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, will deliver verdict in the leadership crisis rocking the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Justice Makhmud Liman of the court on Thursday adjourned till July 4 for judgment in the matter. The case was brought before him by PDP National Officers over the legality of the May 21 National Convention of the party.
The party held parallel conventions in Port Harcourt and Abuja. While acting National Chairman Ali Modu Sheriff convened that of Port Harcourt, the party’s elders organised the Abuja meeting. They were to elect their new executives to run the party.
The caretaker chairman of the party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, had approached the Court on May 23 to seek an order of interim injunction stopping Sheriff from parading himself as the National Chairman.
He is also asking the court to validate the Port Harcourt convention which produced him and the caretaker committee members.
Sheriff headed for the court in Abuja to challenge the legality of the Port Harcourt convention, hinging it on a purported order by the Abuja conveners to stop that of Port Harcourt.
Justice Liman granted the order, and adjourned the matter till June 7, for hearing.
On June 7, parties filed processes on the fact of the matter and adjourned till yesterday for hearing.
At the resumed session on Thursday, parties canvassed their positions and the court adjourned till July 4 for judgment on whether the Port Harcourt convention was illegal or not.
Parties made presentations on their positions. Four motions were filed by both parties. While the plaintiffs – Senators Markafi and Ben Obi filed the originating summons on behalf of the PDP, Senator Sheriff and three others who are the respondents filed three applications.
They are: Memorandum of condition appearance, dated and filed on May 26, Motion to discharge the interim order of court, dated May 25 and filed May 26 and notice of pre-notice preliminary objection dated and filed May 26.
Three of the motions were heard. But that bordering on the ex-parte order of interim injunction on Sheriff and co. was not heard. The court agreed that the timeline of 14 days for interim injunction had ended and should therefore not be over flogged.
However, arguing on the originating summons, which bordered on the validity of the Port Harcourt convention and the agreements reached there, counsel for the plaintiffs, Oladejo Olaminkoran (SAN), urged the court to declare the convention legal, as against the declaration of the defence party.
Moving his motion earlier, Sheriff urged the court to strike the name of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), as plaintiffs in the action, thereby dismissing the entire suit.
He argued that the use of the name of PDP, a corporate entity in the suit by Senators Makarfi and Ben. Obi who are the plaintiffs in the suit, is illegal.
Responding to the application, the plaintiffs said Markafi and Ben Obi are not parties in the matter but the PDP, and that the issue of the legality of the Port Harcourt convention is the main subject matter of the suit as contained in the originating process.
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