The apex court in Nigeria has fixed a date to hear the grievances of the leadership of the main opposition party in Nigeria.
Ali Modu Sheriff shaking hands with his lawyers
The Supreme Court in Abuja has fixed May 25 to determine all applications filed by the parties involved in the leadership crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before the court rules on the appeal filed by the Ahmed Makarfi faction.
In February 2017, a lower court sitting in Port Harcourt declared Ali Modu Sheriff as the national chairman of the PDP. The Ahmed Makarfi faction of the party then challenged the decision.
The Sheriff faction, however, requested that the Supreme Court disqualify the Makarfi faction’s appeal.
The court then asked the counsel to Ali Modu Sheriff faction, Lateef Fagbemi, to respond and file a counter affidavit to the motion filed by the Ahmed Makarfi group within 14 days.
The five-man panel led by Justice Dantijo Mohammed maintained that the court would follow the rules and procedures to ensure that all applications before it are determined before the court hears the appeal of the previous judgment. He therefore asked parties to file their briefs of argument and reply briefs within the stipulated time.
Earlier in his argument, Mr. Fagbemi told the court that the PDP was not interested in the appeal, adding that it was filed by a group that does not have the authority to do so. He noted that the decision of the lower court subsists since there was no stay of execution.
Mr. Fagbemi maintained that if the court decides to act within the law to determine the case, it means the apex court would nullify the decision of the lower court that affirmed Ali Modu Sheriff as chairman of the party. He argued that the ruling of the lower remained valid.
The court, however, questioned what gave Mr. Fagbemi the authority to say whether the Makarfi faction could appeal or not.
The judge then adjourned the case till May 25, when he will hear both parties’ arguments.