An Abuja High Court has given an order stopping Ali Modu Sheriff from been referred to as People Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman.
The court also made it cleared that Ali Modu Sheriff should vacate the seat of the Chairman.
The court presided over by Justice Valentine Ashi, sacked Sheriff and nullified the 2014 PDP constitution amendment upon which Sheriff was appointed as the PDP Chairman.
The court ordered the embattled acting Chairman to vacate the seat with immediate effect after faulting the process through which he emerged as the National Chairman.
Though the court did not specifically mention Sheriff’s name, it made an order restraining all persons who became national officers of the party by virtue of the amended Article 47, Rule 6 of the party’s constitution, from further parading themselves in the said capacities.
The Judge nullified the amendment of the said provision which he ruled was done in violation of mandatory provisions of Article 66 (2) and (3) of the party’s constitution.
Sheriff, a former Governor of Borno state, was appointed as PDP’s National Chairman in the interim by the party’s stakeholders after former Deputy National Chairman, Chief Uche Secondus, from the South-East was removed from the position of acting Chairman based on the zoning arrangement.
Secondus had assumed the position of acting Chairman after the resignation of the former Chairman, Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu erstwhile Governor of Bauchi State in 2015 after PDP lost the presidential election to the All Progressives Congress.The 2014 amendment had purportedly zoned the office of the party chairman to the North-East zone.
Sheriff, a former Governor of Borno state, North-East of the country was appointed PDP National Chairman in the interim by the party’s Stakeholders.
A convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to formally seal his position in May 2016 resulted in controversy after a court in Lagos stopped the convention in an interim order.
On the strength of that Sheriff cancelled the convention but the delegates who had already assembled in the oil city defied the cancellation order, instead appointed a caretaker committee to oversee the affairs of the party until the next convention and Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi was appointed chairman of the committee.
But Sheriff had refused to accept that position resulting in multiple litigations.
Meanwhile, Police cordoned off the entrance to Stadium Road by Akenzua Street, Benin, with vehicles, and the gates to the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium locked as time of filing this report.
The Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium was scheduled to host the planned governorship primary of the Sheriff-led faction of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benin, Wednesday.
Mathew Iduoriyekemwen and Johnson Agbonayinma were the two aspirants, who expressed interest for the governorship ticket.
Commissioner of Police in the State, Chris Eziken said, “I am not INEC. It is too early to find out if the primary will hold or not.
“You can call me back in the afternoon to find out.”
Asked if INEC would witness the exercise, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Sam Olumekun, said only the national headquarters could comment on the matter.
A member of the Caretaker Committee, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the primary would be held as scheduled but that they were looking for another venue.
The Ahmed Markafi-led PDP faction held its primary on June 20 at the same venue which produced Osagie Ize-Iyamu as its candidate for the September 10 Edo governorship election.