BY AMOS DUNIA, ABUJA – The leadership crisis that bedeviled the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for over 14 months was on Wednesday, July 12, 2017, resolved by the Supreme Court which validates the leadership of Senator Ahmed Makarfi as Chairman of the Party’s Caretaker Committee.
The Supreme Court five-man panel, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, held that Senator Ahmed Makarfi, who was earlier sacked by the Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal, is the recognized Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee.
The apex Court accordingly sacked Ali Modu Sheriff, who was recogbised by a Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal.
The panel in a unanimous decision read by Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, ruled that contrary to the judgement The of the Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal, the suit filed by the Makarfi-led faction before the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt was not in any way an abuse of court.
The Supreme Court further ruled that the PDP National Convention held on May 21, 2016, rightly and constitutionally removed Sheriff and so stands removed in line with the provisions of the Party’s Constitution.
The panel declared that the Party’s convention in Port Harcourt acted rightly and not in breach of any aspect of its constitution by setting up the Senator Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee.
Members of the Supreme Court panel that laid to rest the PDP leadership crisis included the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, who read the unanimous judgement, Justice Tanko Muhammad, Justice Kayode Ariwoola and Justice Dattijo Muhammad.
Present in Court for the landmark ruling were, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Governors Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State and Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, former governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido, and other notable leaders of the party.
However, conspicuously absent at the Court was Ali Modu Sheriff, except for his appointed deputy Dr. Cairo, who represented his faction.
With the judgment, the PDP which was fragmented owing to the leadership crisis would start to put it pieces together.