The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has taken a new turn, with Senator Ali Modu Sheriff telling the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt that he remains the chairman.
He described the “Caretaker Committee” headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi as a group of “usurpers” and a “contraption” that was set up in defiance of valid court orders.
According to certified court processes made available to reporters in Lagos through his lawyer, Ajibola Oluyede, Sheriff is praying the court to hold that only he can preside over a convention or meeting where party leaders could be chosen.
PDP sued Sherriff, Prof Adewale Oladipo (who was PDP National Secretary), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the 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 or National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP until the suit is determined.
But, Sheriff and Oladipo, in a motion on notice dated May 27, said those who sued them in PDP’s name lacks “the authority and locus” to institute the suit on the party’s behalf.
They said “the illegal contraption they call ‘caretaker committee’” was set up in violation of three orders made by judges of the court.
“The so-called caretaker committee or any other person acting under its authority is an aberration under the PDP Constitution and was constituted in breach of the mandatory provisions of Section 223 and 224 of the 1999 Constitution and has no capacity to institute this action in the name of the PDP,” said Sheriff and Oladipo.
Sheriff and Oladipo urged the court to dismiss the suit filed against them for being an abuse of court process.