The Ahmed Makarfi faction of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has provided “evidence” it says proves the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, is behind the party’s crisis.
A former Borno State governor, Ali Sheriff, was declared the authentic chairman of the PDP by the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, two weeks ago.
The Makarfi faction has said it has appealed the decision at the Supreme Court.
Speaking Monday at a press conference in Abuja, the spokesperson of the Makarfi faction, Dayo Adeyeye, said the actions of some leaders of the APC have proven its allegations of instigating crisis in the PDP.
“We have stated several times that the APC has its hand deep in the PDP crisis. There is no doubt that Sheriff’s activities against the PDP are being aided and abated by the APC,” he said.
“For the record, just last week, the Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, gave unsolicited advice that we should support Senator Sheriff. That is one instance of their meddlesomeness in the PDP affairs.
“No doubt that Okorocha and Co. are happy that their man won at the Appeal Court but very much afraid that he could lose at the Supreme Court.
“Also, we have it on good authority that the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, has deployed his former Abuja Liaison Officer who was a former Intermediate Officer of the party, Mr. John Enebeli, among others to lure some members of staff in support of Senator Sheriff by promising them huge sums of money to offset their outstanding allowances,” Mr. Adeyeye said.
He also said the same tactic being applied by Mr. Enebeli was made by Mr. Sheriff when he first assumed office as chairman.
No access to secretariat until Supreme Court verdict
Mr. Adeyeye also said the recent Court of Appeal judgment was based on the appeal filed by Mr. Sheriff against the judgment of Justice Liman of the FHC in Port Harcourt, which upheld the “legality and constitutionality of the May 21st 2016 National Convention that took place in Port Harcourt, Rivers State and the Decisions arising therefrom”.
He said because of that appeal, law enforcement agencies denied the National Caretaker Committee and the employees access to the party’s National Secretariat.
“Now that the party led by the National caretaker Committee has filed appeal against the recent judgment, the status quo ante remains until the determination of the Appeal to the Supreme Court,” he said.
He called on the police and other relevant agencies as well as “lovers of peace and democracy” to ask Mr. Sheriff to also respect the on-going litigation processes.
“The Police should ensure that Sheriff and Co. do not occupy the National Secretariat in order to avoid breakdown of law and order. We have noticed that the Police have taken sides in this matter perhaps because of directives of the APC but “a stich in time saves nine,” he said.
Mr. Sheriff had on Friday gained entrance to the Wadata Plaza secretariat of the party in company of some members of his National Working Committee, NWC, and supporters.
He told reporters that he was there to inspect the place and would resume fully on Tuesday this week.
Mr. Adeyeye however said Mr. Sheriff simply forced his way into the secretariat because the keys to the building are with the Board of Trustees, BoT, who, he said, are the “Custodian of the Assets of the Party”.
He cited Article 32(5) (e) of the PDP Constitution (As Amended in 2012).
“We know that the keys of the Secretariat are still with the BoT but Sheriff entered by breaking the doors in an action totally unbecoming of a person who has been Governor of a State, Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and also claiming to be a National Chairman of a major Political Party.
“We therefore demand that Senator Sheriff and Co. vacates the National Secretariat immediately,” he said.