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PDP Convention: Court Declares Senator Ahmed Markafi's Committee Illegal


Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Lagos Federal High Court today sacked the seven-man interim committee appointed last weekend to run the affairs of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The committee, headed by a former governor of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, was appointed last Saturday after the party’s convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital.

Other members of the committee include a former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Senator Ben Obi (national secretary), Sen. Odion Ugbesie, Sen. Abdul Ningi, Mr. Kabir Usman, Mr. Dayo Adeyeye and Alhaja Aisha Aliyu.

Justice Ibrahim Buba in a bench ruling today, held that the committee was appointed in violation of an order he made on May 12.

He had on May 12, restrained the party from conducting elections into offices of the national chairman, national secretary, and national auditor pending hearing and determination of the suit.

The judge had also restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from monitoring the election.

Consequently, Justice Buba has directed the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Solomon Arase to enforce the order.

The plaintiffs which includes the PDP National Chairman Senator Alimodu Sheriff; National Secretary Prof. Wale Oladipo and National Auditor Alhaji Fatai Adeyanju, had urged the court for an interlocutory injunction restraining PDP from conducting any election into the offices of the National Chairman, National Secretary and National Auditor which they occupy, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

Justice Buba said he would not allow his order to be violated without consequence, adding that he had an obligation to ensure his directives were obeyed. “No court can make an order in vain,” he held.

Oladipo and Adeyanju’s lawyer, Ajibola Oluyede, informed Justice Buba about an application filed yesterday in which he prayed the court to invoke its disciplinary powers.

He said: “Certain steps were taken to remove the plaintiffs from their office notwithstanding your lordship’s interlocutory injunction which restrained the respondents from taking such steps.

“The steps were taken over the weekend to remove them and it was during the pendency of this action. It is for that reason that we were constrained to file this application. We seek your lordship’s disciplinary jurisdiction to bring back matters to the status quo based on the order of May 12.”

Justice Buba said although Oluyede’s application was not ripe for hearing, he was bound to protect the court’s sanctity against violation of its orders. He said to ignore flouting a court order is to invite anarchy.

He quoted Section 287 (3) of the 1999 Constitution, which says: “The decisions of the Federal High Court, a High Court and of all other courts established by this Constitution shall be enforced in any part of the federation by all authorities and persons, and by other courts of law with subordinate jurisdiction to that of the Federal High Court, a High Court and those other courts, respectively.”

The judge added: “Therefore, the Inspector-General of Police is directed to enforce the orders of this court until the order is set aside or all the applications before the court are disposed of.

“Because of the nature of this matter being political, time is hereby abridged for the hearing of all applications,” he said.

The judge warned the Makarfi-led committee “not to act in that capacity in defiance of this order.”

Before the ruling, there was mild drama as two lawyers, Ahmed Raji (SAN) and Godswill Morakpor, were locked in a heated argument over who, between them, was authorised to represent PDP. Both announced appearance for the PDP.

Raji said: “There was no attempt to change counsel. I am the counsel on record for the second defendant (PDP). The new caretaker committee has revalidated my appointment. This is the letter,” he said, handing the letter to Justice Buba.

But, Morakpor said he was the one authorised to represent PDP, not Raji.

He said: “Today is like a nightmare to me. I never envisaged a situation where I would be dragging a client with a senior member of the Bar. We have filed a notice of change of counsel and served on the learned SAN.”

Raji claimed he was not served with an application for change of counsel for PDP. The court’s bailiff was sent for, and he confirmed that he indeed served Raji with the application at his office.

Ruling, Justice Buba held that Morakpor is the recognised counsel for PDP.


The matter has been adjourned till Friday, for the hearing of all pending applications.

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