Appellate Court Dismisses Remaining Suits in PDP’s Leadership Squabble

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Abuja — The Court of Appeal, Abuja division, has dismissed the remaining four appeals from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leadership tussle between Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi and Ali Modu-Sheriff.

Ruling in the applications for the withdrawal of the appeals, the Justice Ibrahim Salauwa-led three-man appellate court panel, dismissed the appeals after counsels made submissions urging the court to strike out the cases because it had become academic.

Saluawa said the July 12 decision of the Supreme Court case SC/130/2017 in the PDP legal crises had obliterated further legal actions on the matter.

“The withdrawal of the four appeals by parties stems from the July 12 judgment of the apex court as no other court in the country can entertain these same matters again.

“Having been withdrawn, it would be a taboo to entertain these extant appeals as they have become academic. “It is also imperative to state that these withdrawals were acts of mutuality from parties and according to our extant laws,” the justice said.

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In one of the cases between Markarfi, Ben Obi and four others vs. Biyi Poroye, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and seven others, the Appellant Counsel representing Markarfi, Olumide Olujimi, told the court that in view of the judgment of the apex court, the appellant would apply to withdraw its appeal.

Justice Salauwa, delivering the verdict, said: “We are bound by the decision of the Supreme Court which is the highest court in the land, on the principles of stare decisis.

“This appeals having been withdrawn is hereby dismissed with no cost attached,” he said.The same circumstance ensued in all other cases filed by the Ahmed Markarfi faction of the PDP in the matters numbered CA/A/402/2016, CA/A/402A/2016, CA/A/402B/2016 and CA/A/551/2016.

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The Supreme Court on July 12, 2017 had in its judgment in the appeal numbered SC/133/2017 nullified the earlier judgment of the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division of February 17, 2017 recognising Sheriff as the authentic chairman of the party.

The verdict of the apex court consequently removed Ali Modu-Sheriff as Chairman of the PDP and affirmed the Caretaker Committee of Ahmed Makarfi as the party’s authentic leadership.

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