•Sheriff insists Port Harcourt event’ll go on
By Adetutu Folasade-Koyi
National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), senator Ali Modu-Sheriff has distanced himself from a purported court case seeking to stall the party’s national convention scheduled for Port Harcourt on Saturday, May 21.
On Monday, some chieftains of the party reportedly approached a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos to stop the convention and also, asked the party not to conduct elections into the office of national chairman, national secretary and national auditor. The three national officers reportedly alleged in the suit that their tenures of office were yet to lapse.
Listed as defendants in the suit, alongside the PDP, was the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The suit, was dated May 6, 2016 and numbered FHC/L/CS/61 3/2016.
Consequent upon that request, yesterday, the court gave an order stopping the convention.
In its ruling yesterday, the court gave the following order: An order of interlocutory injunction as requested by the plaintiffs/applicants restraining the 2nd defendant/respondent from conducting any election into the offices of the National Chairman, National Secretary and National Auditor occupied by the 1st, 2nd and 3rd plaintiffs respectively, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit; an order of interlocutory injunction to the plaintiffs/applicants restraining the 1st defendant/respondent from monitoring and or recognising the conduct of any the 2nd defendant/respondent into the offices of the National Chairman, National Secretary and National Auditor occupied by the 1st, 2nd and 3rd plaintiffs respectively, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit,”.
But, Sheriff insisted he was not a party to the suit. He spoke through his media aide, Inua Bwala.
“The national chairman is not aware of any court case and he did not authorise anyone to go to court on his behalf…”
On the fate of the national convention, already planned to hold in three days’ time, Sheriff insisted it would go on as scheduled.
Ahead the convention, the National Executive Committee, NEC, is currently meeting at the Wadata Plaza headquarters of the party.
Tuesday’s NEC followed a meeting of the Board of Trustees, BoT, which held Monday evening.
On Monday evening, the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) softened its stance towards Sheriff and allowed him to continue in office till 2018.
He was earlier expected to step down as national chairman on Saturday.
…Party’s peace move collapses
•As Gana’s group holds parallel convention in Abuja
From Taiwo Amodu, Abuja
Less than 24 hours after governors on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) brokered a meeting to resolve a face off between the party’s National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and aggrieved members of the Board of Trustees (BoT), the peace move has finally collapsed.
The Concerned PDP Stakeholders, led by former Information Minister, Professor Jerry Gana, which agreed to bury its hatchet at the end of the trouble shooting meeting on Monday, inaugurated a steering committee yesterday to manage the affairs of the party yesterday.
The group also elected Gana as its national coordinator.
At the end of the peace meeting on Monday, the aggrieved group, who are predominantly members of the BoT, agreed that the Port Harcourt convention slated for Saturday could proceed as scheduled and also agreed that Senator Modu Sheriff could seek a fresh mandate.
But, party faithful were stunned, yesterday, when the group led by Gana held a meeting in Abuja at a separate venue while the meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party held at Wadata Plaza, its national secretariat at the same time. The Gana group later made a pronouncement that they would conduct a parallel convention in Abuja. It further promised to unveil names of states cordinators to mobilise party faithful for its Saturday convention.
Daily Sun gathered that present at the meeting of the Gana group were former deputy Senate President, Senator Ibrahim Mantu, former Imo state governor, Achike Udenwa and former minister of Special Duties, Taminu Turaki. Former presidential spokesperson, Doyin Okupe, was also in attendance, amongst others.
Further investigation showed that certain serving governors on the party platform gave discreet support to the Gana group.
A party source told Daily Sun that some of them “were appalled by the open campaign for Sheriff to return to office as the party national chairman by the duo of Ekiti state governor, Ayodele Fayose and his Rivers state counterpart, Nyesom Wike.”
BoT Chairman, Senator Walid Jubrin was left in the cold yesterday as the secretary, Chief Ojo Madueke shunned the NEC meeting.
Briefing newsmen at the end of the NEC meeting, Sheriff indicated resolution in a communique to proceed with the national convention slated for Port Harcourt on Saturday.
“Other resolutions of NEC are as follows; “That the convention venue, we will take a resolution to the effect that the presidential candidate of the party will come from the northern part of the country. The resolution will also state that the chairmanship of the party will go to the south after the emergence of the presidential candidate in 2018. Thirdly, all the seven states whose congresses had problems, will be revisited…” among others.
The party also decried the arrest of its members over their alleged involvement in disbursement of funds for campaigns during last year general elections. They also demanded for source of funds spent by the ruling party in the same elections.
“On the arrests of PDP members over 2015 campaign funds, the party said that the anti graft agency should also investigate the ruling party’s campaign fund.
“The NEC also observed that members of the PDP were being arrested by anti graft agencies. Over 20 of our members are under lock by anti graft agencies because of the funds the party used for its campaign. “We believe that PDP is not the only party that went for election, we are urging that the APC and other political parties should also be investigated.
“ We are not against anybody being investigated but it should be a uniform rule for all parties in Nigeria.”