Factional National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ali Modu Sheriff has been vindicated by a High Court in Abuja after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was ordered to ‘recognise’ his faction of the party.
Sheriff was chased out of the national leadership of the party on May 21 following a controversial national convention.
In his place, a caretaker committee led by Ahmed Makarfi was set up to run the party in the interim.
On Thursday, Justice Okon Abang-led Federal High Court in Abuja recognised Sheriff’s faction by restraining INEC from accepting any list of governorship candidates in Edo and Ondo states fromany other faction of the party but his.
The court also granted an order of interlocutory injunction restraining INEC, the PDP and its agents from dealing with or according any facility required by law (regarding the gubernatorial elections to be conducted by INEC in Edo and Ondo states) to any other persons or group other than the Sheriff, Prof Wale Oladipo and Fatai Adeyanju-led National Working Committee of the party.
Justice Abang also ordered INEC, the party and their agents to “recognise, deal with and accord all facilities required by law” to the Modu Sheriff-led NWC in the conduct of Edo and Ondo governorship elections.
He held that the interlocutory orders were to subsist, pending the determination of the substantive suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/439/2016 filed by two governorship aspirants of the PDP in Edo and Ondo states – Chief Benson Akingboye (Ondo) and Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma (Edo).
Justice Abang further directed INEC and the PDP to “reject and ignore any activity including primary elections/congresses for the nomination of candidates for the gubernatorial elections in Edo and Ondo states, purportedly conducted on behalf of the 2nd defendant (PDP) by any other persons or group of persons other than the Sheriff group.”