The embattled chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ali Modu-Sheriff, has issued a Certificate of Return to Matthew Aighuhuenze for the forthcoming governorship election in Edo state despite a Federal High Court judgement in Port Harcourt on Monday, July 4 that sacked his faction of the party.
Ali Modu Sheriff presented the certificate to Aighuhuenze as the party’s flag bearer, after the chairman of his delegates congress committee, Ahmed Gulak, presented the reports of his primaries to the group in Abuja.
The Ahmed Makarfi-led caretaker committee of the PDP had on Monday, July 4, flagged off the campaign of its own candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, for the same election in Benin City with almost all party notables in the state lining up behind him.
Modu-Sheriff says his faction will, in the coming days, flag off campaign for their own candidate in the same state.
A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, presided over by Justice Abdullahi Liman had ruled that the PDP national convention held on May 21, 2016 in the state capital which removed Sheriff as chairman, was legal and did not go contrary to any law.
The judge also held that the dissolution of the National Executive Committee, the National Working Committee and the constitution of a caretaker committee to oversee the affairs of the party by that convention was valid.
However, another Federal high court sitting in Abuja had earlier ruled that the removal of Modu-Sheriff and the formation of a caretaker committee was illegal, ordering the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, not to recognize any other faction of the PDP except Sheriff’s.
Modu-Sheriff told journalists in Abuja shortly after the Port-Harcourt judgment that the both the Abuja and the Port-Harcourt courts are of coordinate jurisdiction, insisting that he remains the national chairman of the PDP until the Court of Appeal sets aside the earlier ruling which was in his favour.