Few days after a peace pact, PDP’s Sheriff, Makarfi at war again.

Few days after reaching an understanding to bury their differences, the two factions of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have renewed hostilities.

The cause of the latest crisis is the decision of Ali Modu Sheriff, national chairman of the party, to replace staff of the PDP secretariat who were not cooperating with him.

Sheriff had declared their jobs vacant and gave them a seven-day ultimatum to return the property of the party in their possession.

But Ahmed Makarfi, caretaker committee chairman, asked the old staff to ignore Sheriff’s threat.

“His threat against our hard working staff should therefore be ignored and treated with utmost contempt coming from a lawless impostor,” said Dayo Adeyeye, the publicity secretary, who responded on behalf of the Makarfi group.

On Thursday, Sheriff and Makarfi signed an undertaking with the PDP national reconciliation committee, led by Seriake Dickson, governor of Bayelsa state, to cease fire.

They both pledged to work together for the restoration of genuine peace to the party.

But on Sunday, Sheriff described Makarfi committee as illegal, saying with the pronouncement of the court of appeal in Port Harcourt, on February 17, “such a group is not supposed to be in existence”.

He appealed to the media not to refer to Makarfi group as a faction of the PDP and insisted that the group was illegal.

Sheriff also warned Makarfi and his group to stop interfering in the affairs of the party.

“Makarfi should behave himself. He should not interfere in our business, because we are not interested in his private business,” Sheriff said in a statement issued on his behalf by Cairo Ojuogboh, his deputy.

“Any further careless statement from him will force us to reconsider our earlier peace agreement.

“We have already employed staff who are running the bureaucracy efficiently. If Makarfi so desires, he should keep the old staff, just as he is doing now.

“We have had enough and enough is enough of this.”

He added that his faction was preparing to complete state congresses, where necessary, and “working hard” on the planned national convention.

“We will not be distracted by inconsequential issues from our set objective to return the party to the grassroots,” he said.

“We must prevent anybody with the agenda of killing the party, especially those, who were brought to the party by those, who have already decamped to other parties.”

Sheriff warned the old PDP staff, who still have the party’s property in their possession, to return them immediately.

“They should return them within the seven days grace or we will be left with no other option than to hand them over to the police,” Sheriff said.

But the Makarfi group which described Sheriff as “a lawless impostor”, urged the staff and party stakeholders to ignore him.

“We went out of our way few days ago to reach accommodation with them even when some of our top leaders had serious misgivings about any type of talk with them given their unreliability,” Makarfi said.

He said his committee showed its goodwill, while Sheriff-led national working committee (NWC) demonstrated their “bad faith”.

“We have always known that Sheriff and his co-travellers especially, Cairo Ojuogbo, were never men of honour with whom one can reach any agreement,” he said.

“But we tagged along to avoid being accused of unnecessary intransigence.

“Since the leopard cannot change its spot, it is now very clear that no agreement or political solution can be reached with these bunch of people with huge integrity deficit.”

He described Ojougboh as an impostor and a rabble-rouser in a “non-existent NWC”, saying Sheriff does not have the constitutional requirement to constitute an NWC.

“His threat against our hard working staff should therefore be ignored and treated with utmost contempt coming from a lawless impostor,” he said.

“For the education of Sheriff and his cohorts, our appeal at the supreme court is already on.

“To that extent, the position and status of the national caretaker committee remains completely unaltered.

“Since they cannot comprehend even very simple matters, we will use a simple analogy.

“If a governor loses at the election petitions tribunal and at the court of appeal, does he cease to be a governor even when his appeal is pending before the supreme court?

“Would the civil servants then refuse to serve him?”

He explained that the position of the law was that he would remain the governor.

He added that all government employees would continue to service his government until otherwise determined by the supreme court.

Makarfi added that his committee members had tried strenuously to reach Dickson to report “this deliberate violation of the truce” but that they were not able to get through to him.


Source: The Cable

Supreme Court to determine Makarfi’s application May 4

The Supreme Court has fixed May 4 for the continuation of hearing in appeals concerning the ongoing leadership crisis of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The apex court gave the date on Thursday, after listening to counsel’s arguments in the appeals challenging the February 17judgement of the Appeal Court which confirmed former Borno State governor, Ali Sheriff, as leader of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.

Mr. Sheriff’s challenger for leadership of the party, Ahmed Makarfi, had approached the Supreme Court after the ruling by the Port Harcourt Division of appellate court, starting the final phase of the judicial battle for the PDP leadership that has lasted almost a year.

The judicial struggle began on May, 17 2016 when a Lagos Division of the Federal High Court ordered the party to suspend its national convention earlier scheduled to hold on May 21 that year.

Contrary to that order, however, the PDP held its convention, amidst conflicting information from the Makarfi and Sheriff led factions of the party, respectively, regarding the said convention.

During the convention on May 21, Mr. Makarfi was elected leader of the caretaker committee of the party.

Shortly after that convention, however, loyalist of the Sheriff faction filed a motion before the Federal High Court, FHC, in Lagos, challenging the emergence of Mr. Makarfi as leader of the party.

Consequently on May 24, the court presided by Justice Ibrahim Buba nullified the emergence of the Makarfi-led leadership of the party, and reinstated Mr. Sheriff as leader of the party.

After that judgement, other judgements emanating from separate divisions of the FHC, gave controversial rulings on the convention.

In February, however, the Appeal Court in Port Harcourt announced Mr. Sheriff leader of the party, paving the way for the suit at the Supreme Court.

On Thursday, at the commencement of hearing in Mr. Makarfi’s application, the counsel representing the Sheriff faction, Akin Olujimi, said his client (PDP) was not aware of any application, challenging the emergence of the current leadership of the party.

He, however, prayed the court to set aside the application, stressing that ‘the appropriate authorities to have made the said application have not decided to appeal.”

The counsel representing the second defendant in Mr. Sheriff’s appeal aligned with Mr. Olijimi’s submission.

The counsel, Lateef Fagbemi, said his client, the National Secretary of the party from Mr. Sheriff’s faction, Wale Oladipo, would want the court to set aside the application made by Mr. Makarfi’s counsel, Kanu Agabi, stressing that the appellant had no authorisation to have made the said application.

He also prayed the court to determine the application by the Sheriff faction, before hearing the main appeal by the faction led by Mr. Makarfi.

In his response, Mr. Agabi, a former attorney general of Nigeria, said the respondents should make the submissions written.

Mr. Olujimi had prayed the court to allow them make their submissions within a period of 21 days. So, after hearing the arguments of counsel, the panel of five justices, led by Mohammed Tanko, adjourned to May 4 for hearing of the appeals by the Sheriff-led faction.


Source: Premium Times

Sheriff cautions Makarfi over alleged 2019 presidential ambition

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ali Modu Sheriff has warned the party’s National Caretaker Committee chairman, Ahmed Makarfi to be careful of his utterances on whether or not he (Sheriff) would contest for president in the 2019 general elections.

Sheriff who spoke while receiving PDP members of the party from Zamfara State at the party national headquarters in Abuja also cautioned Makarfi to behave himself and stop talking about him all the time.

He was reacting to Makarfi’s recent declaration that Sheriff wants to conduct a convention to emerge as the presidential candidate of the party for the 2019 elections.

Makarfi had actually said Sheriff was planning to hold a convention due to his ambition.

But Sheriff yesterday said: “I am not an ambitious person like some of my friends. One of the newspapers reported that Sheriff wants to do convention because he wants to become president. President of Nigeria is decided by God and the people.

“Whenever people lack confidence in themselves they don’t believe in the will of God. I have called him this morning. It is will of God. I want to sincerely request Makarfi to watch his words. I don’t believe that anyone of us here have the powers of God.”

He told Makarfi to mind his business and stop writing his (Sheriff’s) name all the time.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the National Reconciliation Committee and Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson and chairmen of the state chapters of the party yesterday faulted fresh appointments into the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).

Submitting his committee’s report on the reconciliation of the factions within the party to the Makarfi-led PDP caretaker committee in Abuja, Dickson said that such illegal appointments could destroy the unity and cohesion within the party.

The report of the reconciliation committee had earlier been submitted to Sheriff.

The recent appointment of acting Deputy National Chairman, acting National Publicity Secretary and Acting National Organizing Secretary, among others had deepened the party’s crisis as many members insisted that Sheriff’s leadership lacks the power to make such appointments.

Also Senate and House of Representatives PDP caucus leaders, Godswill Akpabio and Leo Ogor said they were willing to give peace a chance if the Sheriff-led faction was ready to abide by the agreements reached with the Dickson’s committee.


Source: The Guardian

Sheriff has no good intention for PDP, says Adeyeye.

National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) said National Chairman, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, has no good intentions for the party.

Publicity Secretary of the committee, Mr Dayo Adeyeye, stated this in a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja.

Speaking at the backdrop of a statement credited to Sheriff on his 2019 presidential ambition, Adeyeye said that all efforts of the national chairman were geared towards his hidden ambition.

He said that Sheriff was holding PDP to ransom because he wanted to hijack the party and use it for his selfish interest.

“He was planning a convention that will put his cronies in critical party positions who will then rubber-stamp his candidacy when the time to pick the PDP candidate for 2019 Presidential Election comes.

“We are worried that some important party leaders also could not see beyond the facade, tagging along with Sheriff as he drags the party through the mud in his bid at achieving his selfish ambition.

“ We hope perceptible minds in the party can now see why it is extremely dangerous to trust Sheriff with the organization of any convention,’’ he said.

Adeyeye said that having Sheriff as PDP presidential candidate would be a real delight for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“It is as good as having your sparring partner as your opponent in a major bout.

“We want to make a serious contention for power in 2019. We don’t want to field a candidate who is the captain of the second team of the ruling party,’’ he said.

On the allegation that the caretaker committee was already boasting of going to obtain victory on the party’s leadership crisis at the Supreme Court, Adeyeye said it was blackmail from Sheriff’s group.

According to him, it is rather the Sheriff group that is already blackmailing the Supreme Court on the matter the way they did to the Court of Appeal in the Ondo governorship in 2016.

“They did the same against the second panel for which the Supreme Court awarded costs of over N20 million against them and their lawyers.

“They were the ones celebrating that appeal court judgment even before it was given. They said they knew the judgment.

“Their subtle blackmail of Supreme Court is unbecoming.’’

Dr Cairo Ojougboh, acting National Deputy Chairman of the party, in a separate news conference also in Abuja, accused the caretaker committee of boasting about the party leadership crisis now before the Supreme Court.

Ojougboh alleged that the caretaker committee was already boasting that the judgment rejected by the Court of Appeal would be adopted by the Supreme Court.

“We make bold to say nobody can buy the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court cannot be bought.

“The PDP has implicit confidence in the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Samuel Onnoghen and his colleagues in the Supreme Court.

“We, therefore, advice Makarfi and his co-travelers that their wishful judgment which they are parading will remain in the trash can,” Ojougboh said.

Meanwhile, the PDP members and their leaders in the South-South said they remained committed to the party and the resolutions of the May 21, 2016 national convention in Port Harcourt.

National Vice Chairman of the party in the zone, Chief Emmanuel Ogidi, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

He said all party members in South-South were under the authority of the National Caretaker Committee headed by Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, which was constituted at the Port Harcourt convention.

He assured that the loyalty of members to the committee would be sustained until the verdict of the Supreme Court on the appeal before it on the recent judgment of the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt had on Feb. 17, 2017, ruled that Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff remained the authentic chairman of the PDP.

The court also directed that status quo before the national convention in Port Harcourt, which sacked the leadership of the PDP and constituted the caretaker committee, should remain.

But, a minority judgment by one of the judges, out of the three justices of the Appeal Court that heard the case, recognised the resolutions and actions taken at the Port Harcourt convention. The judge held that as somebody appointed to administer the party for about three months and organise a national convention, Sheriff had by the resolution of the convention, seized to be chairman of the party.

Ogidi expressed optimism that the final verdict of the court on the issue would vindicate the position of the majority of the party’s members, and would uphold the minority judgment at the Appeal Court.

On the merger talks between PDP and some political parties, Ogidi said that it was real but that the merging parties would adopt PDP as their new party.

According to him, PDP is the brand and cannot be changed. Yes, other parties will merge with us but the name PDP will be retained after the fusion.


Source: The Guardian

“I Won’t Stoop So Low To Fayose’s Level”, Ali Modu Sheriff Knocks Ekiti Governor.

Controversial National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff, said in Abuja in Wednesday, that he will not descend to the level of Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State.

Fayose has remained vocal in his criticism of Sheriff since the Court of Appeal pronounced him the chairman of the party on Friday.

Speaking to members of the party from the South-West in his office about the repeated tirades of the governor on him, Sheriff said there would be no difference between both men should he choose to reply the governor.

He also pleaded with the other governors not to destroy the party.

“Ali Sheriff is not here to remain as National Chairman,” he said, promising to depart as soon as the national convention is held.

He promised a credible convention, adding that the election of leaders accepted by the grassroots is his mission and that he will do that by the grace of God.

Pleading for peace in the PDP, he said: “Let’s build this party. If you like and you want to change something, wait for the convention and vote for the person you like, and Nigerians and the world will see that you’re are validly elected by the PDP.”

He described the governors as being very important, saying they are leaders of this party by their own right, but should not divide the party.

Of the Ekiti State governor, he said, “I beg him to respect PDP, whatever he said about me posterity would judge him. He will devote more energy and time for the rebuilding of PDP?.”

He also told his guests that he and his rival for the office of national chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, had mutually agreed before the appeal court delivered the judgment not to further challenge it, whatever it was.

“Makarfi and I resolved that whatever is the outcome of the appeal court judgment that we will not destroy our party, that once we get the judgment from the Court of Appeal that will be the final judgement for everybody. ?
“We spoke to all Nigerians about this, it is on record, but all the same everybody has the right to do what he wants to do. But it is good to place on record what we have as agreement.
“Now the court of appeal has made a pronouncement that the status quo ante be maintained being that myself and the legally adjudged party exco? who did not resign from office voluntarily because anyone has the right to resign voluntarily remain in office.”

He said he would reopen the National Secretariat of the party before Friday.


Source: Sahara Reporters

JUST IN: Police seals off Makarfi-led PDP’s meeting venue.

The police have prevented the Ahmed Makarfi faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from converging on the International Conference Center (ICC) for a meeting.

Makarfi’s group chose the venue after the ruling of the appeal court which recognised Ali Modu Sheriff as the legitimate chairman of the PDP.

On Friday, an appeal court sitting in Port Harcourt ruled in favour of Sheriff and also declared the convention which produced the caretaker committee led by Makarfi as illegal.

In a statement on Monday, Makarfi’s group alleged that Sheriff in league with the federal government planned to stop it from holding its meeting.

The caretaker committee announced that the meeting had been moved to the Ekiti state government lodge in Abuja.

“Senator Ali Modu Sheriff in collaboration with the All Progressive Congress (APC)-led federal government has barricaded the International  Conference Center, ICC, venue of the scheduled stakeholders meeting of  the entire organs of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),” the statement read.

“This is a very sad development in our democratic history where there is no longer free association and movement of citizens of this country.

“Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and his APC collaborators cannot stop the will of the people. Nigerians can now confirm that Senator Ali Modu Sheriff is a mole in PDP to destroy the only strong opposition in the country.

“All invited members of the party for the scheduled  stakeholders meeting  are hereby directed to proceed to will the Ekiti State Government Lodge  on TY Danjuma Street, Asokoro, Abuja by same time, 2:00Pm.”

BREAKING: Ali Modu Sheriff emerges as the authentic chairman of the PDP

The factional PDP chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff has won his case at the Appeal Court. As a result of this latest development, the caretaker committee may have been nullified by the court, upholding Justice Abang’s judgement.

Recall that the power tussle between Ali Modu Sheriff and Ahmed Makarfi have been ongoing for a very long time now.

It was gathered that the three judges of the court in a unanimous decision agreed that the Modu Sheriff is the chairman of the PDP.

Chieftains of the party from the two sides had at various fora expressed readiness to abide by the outcome of the appeal court verdict with a view to bringing lasting peace in the party.

A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt had last year given legitimacy to Makarfi as the chairman of the party, while another court of coordinate jurisdiction in Abuja, headed by Justice Okon Abang, had ruled that Sheriff should be recognized as the chairman.

The PDP has not been able to play the role of leading opposition to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) because of the crisis ravaging it from within.

An appeal court in Abuja had on December 16, 2016, adjourned indefinitely, the separate hearing in the leadership tussle so as to pave way for the Port Harcourt division of the court to exhaust the case before it.

Both Makarfi and Sheriff have been operating from satellite offices following the closure of the national headquarters of the party, at Wadata Plaza in Abuja.

The crisis in the PDP is also raging in many states where Makarfi and Sheriff share the loyalty of members.