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PDP group asks court to sack Sheriff, stop convention

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PDP group asks court to sack Sheriff, stop convention

PDP group asks court to sack Sheriff, stop convention
March 14
06:54 2016

Hope of resolving the crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party over the emergence of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the National Chairman of the party has taken another turn as two members of a group in the main opposition party have asked an Abuja High Court to compel Sheriff to vacate office by the end of March.

They are also seeking an order of the court to compel the party’s national leadership not to hold the forthcoming national convention until the membership register of the party is computerised as stipulated in section 8(11) of its constitution.

The National Executive Committee of the party had fixed the convention, which is to hold in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, for May 21, 2016.

But the suit, dated March 8, which is aimed at stopping the meeting and the sacking of Sheriff, was filed by Mr. Nwosu Emmanuel and Mr. Eze Silas on behalf of the Restart PDP Group.

By implication, Sheriff and other members of the National Working Committee will be in office till May 2016, instead of March when their tenure ought to end.

Former ministers, who served during the party’s 16-year reign at the centre and the PDP Restart Group are, however, insisting that Sheriff and his management team should vacate office on March 31.

However, according to a copy of the originating summons, with suit number CV/1174/16, filed at a Federal High Court in Abuja, Emmanuel and Silas are the plaintiffs while the PDP, Sheriff and the NWC are the first, second and third defendants respectively.

Prayers being sought before the court is an order “restraining the 1st defendant, 3rd defendant and the current national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (Senator Ali Modu Sheriff) and all other national officers of the Peoples Democratic Party, whose tenure of office shall expire in March 2016 in line with the party’s constitution, from unlawfully extending their tenure of office beyond the mandatory four years term expressly stipulated in Section 47(1) of the constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party.”

They also seeking an order “restraining the defendants, all officers and organs of the 1st defendant from parading or further parading the tenure of office of the 2nd defendant or any officers or organs of the 1st defendant, whose tenure of office shall expire in March 2016 in line with the party’s constitution, as having been expired beyond March 2016.”

While asking the court for a declaration on the tenure of Sheriff, they noted that Sheriff “having emerged to complete the unexpired constitutionally-stipulated four years terms of the last former national chairman of the party and his immediate predecessor respectively (Alh. Adamu Mu’azu and Alh. Bamanga Tukur), whose tenure jointly ought to expire in March 2016, should vacate office in March, 2016 as any extension of his tenure shall contravene the provisions of sections 2 and 47(1) and (6) of the constitution of the party”.

Seeking an order to stop the May 21 convention, they pleaded with the court to compel the party to give effect to Section 8 (11) of the constitution, which provides that a membership register of the party should be computerised.

The plaintiffs asked the court to restrain “the first defendant and all its organs from conducting party congress and 2016 national convention or other further national conventions pending the computerisation of the party membership register as mandatorily stipulated in Section 8(11) of the party’s constitution.

Section 8 (11) of PDP’s constitution reads, “The party membership register shall be computerised to ensure control and to avoid fraud and all ward registers shall be closed one month to congresses.”

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the case.

When contacted, the spokesman for the Restart PDP Group, Chief Jackson Ude, said the suit became necessary to ensure that the PDP allowed the constitution of the party to prevail instead of a “back-door agreement by few selfish individuals in the party.”

He added, “If the PDP constitution says Bamanga Tukur and Adamu Mu’azu’s tenure, which Ali Modu Sheriff is concluding expires on March 28, so be it.

“Let him and members of the NWC leave so the party can cleanse itself and begin on a new slate

“We must go back to the rule of law and the constitution. The impunity within the party is because few individuals decided on their own to jettison the constitution for their own selfish interest. All well-meaning members of the PDP must insist on the constitution.”

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Mujeeb

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