The Supreme Court has fixed May 25, 2017 for hearing of applications as regards the crisis rocking the leadership of the nation’s major opposition party Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Ahmed Markafi faction of the party is challenging the validity of the Court of Appeal’s judgement which affirmed Ali Modu Sherrif as the authentic National Chairman of the PDP.
At the resumption of proceedings at the apex court, presided by Justice Musa Mohammed Dattijo, the PDP (appellant) as well as the 1st respondent (Ali Modu Sheriff) and Adewale Oladipo (2nd respondent) secured leave of the 5-man panel to regularise their processes.
Wole Olanipekun SAN represented the appellant, while Akin Olujimi SAN appeared for 1st and 2nd respondents, Sheriff and Oladipo respectively.
Nelson Ani announced appearance for the 3rd respondent (INEC) just as Mohammed Ndayako represented the 4th respondent.
More so, the apex court fixed the date for hearing of a motion dated 21st March, filed by Lateef Fagbemi SAN, challenging the competence of the appeal filed by the appellant.
Lateef had told the court that he filed the motion on behalf of the PDP (Sheriff led National Executives), insisting that he is the authentic National Chairman of the PDP, going by the judgement of the Court of Appeal, Port-Harcourt.
Fagbemi posited that “it was wrong for an appeal to be filed at the Supreme Court without consulting the Chairman of the party.
“The person I am representing is not interested in the appeal, and I am here based on the judgement of the Court of Appeal which recognized Ali Modu Sheriff as National Chairman of the PDP”, he submitted.
He pointed out that the judgement has not been set aside and no order for stay of execution has been obtained.
However, the panel posed the following questions to him to justify whether or not he should be entertained.
In response, Fagbemi said he appeared in the matter because Sheriff, who is the validly known national leader of the PDP has asked him to discontinue the appeal, but he admitted that the judgement obtained at the appellate court was not via an exparte order.
Meanwhile, describing Fagbemi’s motion as “a storm in a tea cup” Justice Dattijo granted him 7 days to file and serve his written address in support of his motion on parties, while 5 days were given to Olanipekun to reply.
In addition, the panel gave 14 days to the 1st and 2nd respondents to file and serve their counter affidavit on the appellant.
SEYI ANJORIN, Abuja