The Supreme Court has referred the two factional leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Ali Modu Sheriff and Ahmed Makarfi back to the Court of Appeal for the decision on who among them possesses the right to take decisions for the party.
In a unanimous ruling, a five-man panel of the Supreme Court, led by Justice Walter Onnoghen, struck out an interlocutory appeal by the Sheriff faction and directed parties to return to the Court of Appeal for a final pronouncement on the substantive issue of which of the factional leaderships of the party could instruct lawyers to act for the PDP.
The Makarfi faction had appealed the ruling by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja recognising the right of the Sheriff-led faction to make decisions for the party, including briefing lawyers on its behalf.
When the Court of Appeal ruled that it would hear the Markafi groups’ appeal with the objection raised against it by the Sheriff faction, it appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, the interlocutory appeal that was struck out this morning.
The Supreme Court said the Sheriff faction or any other party not satisfied with the Court of Appeal’s final judgement could appeal the judgment, including the interlocutory decisions.
The court also gave similar directives in relation to other interlocutory appeals relating to the choice of candidate for the PDP in the November 26 Ondo State governorship elections.
The apex court said, in view of the judgments of the Court of Appeal on November 23 – which voided the ruling that recognised Jimoh Ibrahim as candidate – the interlocutory appeals were now mere academic exercise.
The appeals were against the Court of Appeal’s interlocutory rulings, granting leave to Eyitayo Jegede, Makarfi and Obi to appeal the June 29 judgment and October 14, 2016 ruling by Justice Abang.
The court orders Ibrahim and others, who are not comfortable with the judgments given by the Court of Appeal on November 23 to appeal the final judgment and include the issues contained in the interlocutory appeals, which it struck out today.