End to the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may not have been achieved despite the ruling of the Court of Appeal, which on Friday, pronounced Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the authentic chairman of the party.
Governors’ Forum of the party and its Board of Trustees (BoT) have vowed that Sheriff cannot lead the party.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt had ruled that Senator Sheriff is the authentic chairman of the PDP.
The ruling came on divided decision. While two judges of the appellant court Justice B. G. Sanga and Justice A.A. Gumel delivered judgement against the Ahmed Makarfi-led PDP, the third judge, Justice T.S Orji-Abadua, on the other hand ruled against Sheriff, who is the first appellant in the matter.
Recall that four lower courts of parallel jurisdiction had also in their rulings, before the matter was brought to the Court of Appeal, given conflicting judgements on the leadership tussle.
Justice Sanga, who gave the lead judgement, said in his ruling that PDP failed to comply with its constitution in sacking the executive of the party led by Sheriff.
He stated that a vote of confidence might be moved on any officer, but a two-month notice at least ought to be made available to the secretariat of the party for onward circulation to all members of the party.
He said, “A vote of confidence may be moved on any officer, but in doing that, a two-month notice shall be provided to the secretariat of the party, which shall also be circulated.
“The way the (Sheriff) executive on May 21, 2016, showed that the party’s constitution was not complied with.”
But reacting to the judgment which sacked Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee of the party, PDP Governors Forum chairman and Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, said on behalf of other governors of the party, that PDP must appeal the judgement.
“The outcome of the Port Harcourt Court of Appeal that reinstated Sheriff against the will of the people, is nothing but a rape of our democracy. If the people truly symbolize what a party is, then the machination of our detractors and the anti-democratic organs will not prevail at last.
“We commend the minority judgment of the lower court and we believe the truth will prevail. Thank God we have another opportunity to seek justice at the Supreme Court, which I believe will not be delayed or denied.
“The party will appeal the judgement as we believe in the ability of the judiciary to do justice. However we plead with our members, leaders and supporters to calm down as we keep hope alive. If this is a price to pay, to keep our democracy alive and opposition strengthened, we are prepared to go the whole hug,” Fayose said.
He further said that the party’a organs would meet as soon as possible to take concrete steps and decisions on the next course of action.
Like Fayose, chairman of the BoT, Senator Walid Jibrin, said the party organs have to meet and deliberate on the judgement.
He however reiterated that the governors, the BoT, and other organs of the PDP are behind Makarfi and its committee.