PDP BoT Endorses Sheriff As Chairman, Election of New Chairman Barred By Court
Obviously in a move that could be termed as an endorsement of the embattled national Chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, the Board of Trustees, BoT of the party yesterday unanimously extended the tenure of the National Chairman to 2018, Vanguard News reported.

News Punch had yesterday in a headline error, which read; PDP Dethrones Sheriff, Elects New Chairman, Secretary, published the accounts of the PDP BoT's ratification of Sen. Walid Jibril a substantive BoT Chairman and the election of  Ojo Maduekwe, as the board's Secretary. The headline error highly regretted.

In a related development, confusion was said to have pervaded the national headquarters of the Peoples Democratic Party in Abuja on Monday evening when words filtered in that a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has stopped the party from conducting elections into the offices of the national chairman of the party, the national secretary and its national auditor Punch Newspaper reports this morning.

The court has also restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission from monitoring the conduct of any election into the offices.

He is to now quit office in 2018 to allow for the emergence of a chairman from the southern part of the country, while the north produces the party’s presidential candidate for 2019 election. 

On their part, the chairman of the party and its governors dropped the proposal to amend the party’s constitution at the forthcoming convention in Portharcourt, while also promising to revisit the conduct of state congresses that were contentious in some states. 

The Board also confirmed the position of its chairman, Senator Jibril Wali, who had been in acting capacity, while also appointing Ambassador Ojo Maduekwe as secretary of the board. While Jibril was appointed unanimously, Ojo Maduekwe’s appointment followed the stepping down of his sole challenger, Senator Stella Omu.

PDP is planning to hold its national convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Saturday, May 21.

The order to restrain the party from conducting the elections followed a case brought before the court by the National Chairman of the party, Senator Modu Sheriff; the National Secretary, Prof. Wale Oladipo; and the National Auditor, Alhaji Fatai Adeyanju, who were listed as 1st, 2nd and 3rd plaintiffs in the case.

In the case with suit number FHC/L/CS/61 3/2016, dated 6th of May, 2016, both the INEC and the PDP were listed as the 1st and 2nd defendants.

The plaintiffs prayed for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the 2nd defendant 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 restraining the 1st defendant/respondent from monitoring and or recognising the conduct of any election by 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.

According to the court order dated May 12, 2016 which was shown to reporters at the party secretariat in Abuja, the affidavit in support of the Motion on Notice and the exhibits attached were deposed to by Adeyanju.

In response to the submission made by the plaintiffs’ counsel, the court presided over by Justice I.N. Buba, granted the following: “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.”

The substantive case has been adjourned till May 24, 2016.

Efforts made by our correspondent to get the reaction of the party’s National Legal Adviser, Mr. Victor Kwon, failed as he did not pick the calls made to his telephone.

But the national secretary said the party was aware of the court order.

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