Sheriff takes charge of PDP, insists he remains the “authentic chairman”

Former Governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff, formally resumed at the PDP National Secretariat on Monday, declaring himself as the “one and only recognized National Chairman of the party”.
Addressing newsmen at the party’s Wadata House secretariat in Abuja, Sheriff described the Ahmed Makarfi-led caretaker committee as “contraption”, declaring any action (s) the committee may have taken null and void.

A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt had granted an exparte order, restraining Mr. Sheriff from parading himself as the PDP National Chairman.

Interestingly, few hours later same day, another Federal High Court  sitting in Lagos declared him (Sheriff) the authentic National Chairman of the PDP.

Last week, the PDP Board of Trustees however, handed over party affairs to the chairman of the Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, who subsequently assigned portfolios to the committee members.

But, sheriff told newsmen that as a law abiding citizen, he decided not to get close to the PDP secretariat in view of the exparte order given by the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, despite another order from a Federal High Court in Lagos, declaring him as the authentic chairman.
However, he said now that the exparte order granted in Port Harcourt had lapsed, he decided to resume as the chairman, having served relevant authorities like INEC and the Police with necessary court papers.

“As you may be aware, we have been facing some challenges, since we put off the National Convention, planned for Port Harcourt last month.

“I will therefore consider it the height of self-deceit for anyone to pretend that the PDP is not in crisis, but also wish to assure you that, we have been working round the clock to see how we can resolve the matter, without being on the wrong side of the law,” Sheriff said.

He spoke further, “It is public knowledge that, although there was an order by the Federal High Court in Lagos, declaring me the authentic National Chairman of the PDP, I have kept away from taking steps that could jeopardize the law following an exparte order from the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt which had given a contradictory order, restraining me from operating as the Chairman of our party notwithstanding some further orders from the Federal High Court Lagos, specifically directing the inspector General of Police to provide me with adequate security to enable me carry out my duties.

“Now that the ex parte order given in Port Harcourt has since lapsed on the 9th of June and has not been renewed or extended, it is now my pleasure and privilege to inform you that I have fully resumed as the one and only National Chairman of our great party, the PDP.

“Against this background, I hereby declare as null void and of no consequence whatsoever, any action taken by any person or group of persons, except by my leadership which is recognized by the law.

“I have all the while kept away from the office in strict compliance with the ex parte order of the port Harcourt Federal High Court which lapsed on the 9th of June and not because I sanction the illegalities being committed by some few members of our party.

“You are all witnesses to the effect that, while the court procedures are still going on, a lot of illegalities; in clear defiance of the law have been taking place in the party, under the guise of a contraption called caretaker Committee.

“I had hoped that, for once, the PDP, which have been accused of promoting impunity and declining lawful orders will purge itself, which informed my decision to obey the courts.

“After due consultations with serious minded stakeholders of the party and my lawyers, against the background that have remained committed to lawful procedures, l have come, fully armed with all the necessary court orders to resume as the National Chairman, as directed by a court of competent jurisdiction.

“We have to this effect served the necessary court orders on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which is the impartial arbiter in matters like this; the Police as custodians of the law.”

Sheriff called on all party members and stakeholders to shun all acts that could tend to portray the party as being lawless, adding “We must learn to obey our own laws first before we can hope to provide the desired leadership.

“As we settle down to move the party forward, we wish to call on all party members within and outside the country to come around so that we can together reposition the PDP for future challenges.”