There seems to be no end in sight in the leadership crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Thursday, ordered INEC, to only recognise candidates in Ondo and Edo states endorsed by the Ali Modu Sheriff-led National Working Committee, NWC.
Justice Okon Abang made the interim order in a suit filed by two governorship aspirants of the PDP in Edo and Ondo states – Chief Benson Akingboye (Ondo) and Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma (Edo).
However, the Edo State chapter of the PDP has pledged to discharge the interim injunction on Monday, claiming that the suit was filed in bad faith.
PDP sources in Edo State said that the suit could never benefit the Sheriff faction since the faction failed in serving INEC with the 21 day notice required to conduct a governorship primary.
At the beginning of the hearing of the motion for interlocutory injunction brought by the plaintiffs, two Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Emmanuel Ukala and Olagoke Fakunle, locked horns over who was duly briefed to represent the PDP.
Ukala claimed that he was duly briefed by the Markafi led faction of the party, while Fakunle on the other hand, said he was briefed by the Sheriff-led faction.
In resolving the confusion, Justice Abang, noted that while a Federal High Court in Lagos, in two separate orders on May 12 and May 20, recognised the leadership of Sheriff and restrained parties from proceeding with the party’s national convention in Port Harcourt, the Markafi leadership of the PDP emerged from a convention against which there was a pending order.
According to the judge, there was an element of doubt about the legality of the convention from which Markafi-led Caretaker Committee emerged.
He consequently said the court was minded to only recognise Fakunle who was briefed by the Sheriff-led faction of the PDP.
Fakunle told the court that the Sheriff-led faction was not opposed to the interlocutory reliefs sought by the plaintiffs.
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