More judicial confusing orders trail planned PDP National Convention

Implications of PDP Crisis on politics By Oyewale Oyelola

Hours to the planned Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) national convention, more contradictory court orders are still coming as a Federal High Court in Abuja has barred the party from holding the convention while another High Court in Port Harcourt re-affirmed that the party’s National Convention Planning Committee was duly constituted and stands valid.

The PDP’s national convention have been scheduled to hold on August 17, in Port Harcourt.

In its ruling, the Abuja court also barred the party from presenting, electing or recognising anybody as its national officer.

The ruling was on a motion on notice filed by factional national chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, seeking to stop the convention that is scheduled to hold in Rivers State.

Reading the court’s ruling, Justice Okon Abang restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission from supervising or monitoring the planned convention, pending the determination of the substantive suit.

The trial judge in the ruling also ordered the Inspector General of Police to enforce his order which put paid to the planned convention.

He also directed Senator Sheriff to obtain and fill form 48 so as to commit anybody or group, who may disobey the order to prison.

Aware that a Port Harcourt court order contradicts that of his court, he said: “This division is not struggling with Port Harcourt division for jurisdiction but the Port Harcourt division should not have assumed jurisdiction because the Supreme Court has made it clear, that when a situation like we have at hand arises, a judge should consult with the Chief Judge before taking any step.

“If my brother in Port Harcourt is vast with this Supreme Court decision he would not have assumed jurisdiction. Let me make it clear here that Port Harcourt division cannot over rule me”.

“Any party or person that fails to comply with my decision will have himself to blame,” he warned.

In the Port Harcourt court, however, the judge, Justice Ibrahim Walifa said that since the July 4, 2016 judgment of Justice Lima that ordered Senator Sheriff or his agents from parading themselves as the chairman and leaders of the party was not appealed, the judgment still subsists.

The ruling was in connection with originating summons of a matter between the National Convention Planning Committee of the party and the Independent National Electoral Commission, the police and Department of State Services.

Justice Walifa said that it was an abuse of court processes for the defendants to carry on as if nothing has changed and sought to originate a similar matter in a sister court.

The judge therefore, granted the prayers of the plaintiffs and re-affirmed that the party’s National Convention Planning Committee was duly constituted and that the convention was valid.

 

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The contradictory court orders are coming less than 24 hours to the planned national convention, which the party said on Monday it was going ahead with.

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