The embattled Senator Ali Modu Sheriff has told a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, that he remained the National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. He described the Caretaker Committee headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi as a group of “usurpers” and a “contraption” set up in defiance of valid court orders.
Sheriff, through his lawyer, Mr. Ajibola Oluyede, is conse-quently asking the court to hold that only he could preside over a convention or meeting to chose party leaders. PDP had sued Sheriff, Professor Adewale Oladipo, who was PDP National Secretary; Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC; Inspector-General of Police and Department of State Services, DSS, before Justice I. Liman.
The judge had restrained Sherriff and Oladipo from parading themselves as Chairman, Secretary or members of the National Executive Committee, NEC, or National Working Committee, NWC, of the party until the suit was determined.
However, Sheriff and Oladipo, in a motion on notice before the court, are arguing that those who sued them in PDP’s name lacked “the authority and locus” to institute the suit on the party’s behalf. They are also praying the court to discharge the ex parte order restraining them from holding their offices.
They said Justice Liman made the order on May 24, 12 days after Justice Ibrahim Buba of the court’s Lagos division restrained the party from conducting elections into offices of Chairman, Secretary and Auditor.
According to them, PDP is a corporate entity and can only be “invoked” by the National Executive Committee, of which they (Sheriff and Oladipo) are principal officers. They said PDP NWC, which is still under their control, did not instruct anyone to file the action on the party’s behalf.
They said that only the NWC was responsible for the day to day administration of the PDP and had the authority to institute or instruct anyone to file a suit in the party’s name.