By Sadiq Umar – An Abuja High Court has nullified the process that produced a former Borno State governor, Ali Modu Sheriff, as chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying the amendment to party Constitution that paved way for his emergence was illegal.
The presiding judge, Valentine Ashi, faulted the amended PDP constitution in 2014, which led to the emergence of Mr. Sheriff as the party’s chairman, after the resignation of former Bauchi State governor, Adamu Muazu.
The amendment had zoned the office of the national chairman of the party to the North-East.
But the judge said on Wednesday, that the amendment was a violation of the Electoral Act and described the actions of the PDP leaders who partook in the amendment as illegal.
Justice Valentine Ashi, the judge, on Tuesday, nullified the 2014 amended constitution of the PDP through which Sheriff was appointed chairman.
He held that the process of amending some sections of the party’s constitution ran contrary to the Electoral Act, declaring the positions of Sheriff and other PDP executive as null and void.
The judgment followed a suit filed by Joseph Jero, a member of the party.
Meanwhile, a former National Secretary of the party who is loyal to the Modu-Sheriff faction, Wale Oladipo, has dismissed the ruling, insisting that the former Borno governor remains chairman.
A statement issued by Mr. Oladipo in Abuja on Wednesday claimed that Sheriff had not been sacked by any court.
“Our attention has been drawn to reports circulating in the media that a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court has ousted the National Chairman of the PDP, Sen. Ali-Modu Sheriff,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
“This is completely false and a clear misrepresentation of the ruling of the court as it never gave any ruling ousting the National Chairman.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the court only heard and delivered judgment on a matter concerning certain amendments in the PDP constitution, which has nothing to do with the election of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the National Chairman or even that of his predecessor, Alhaji Adamu Muazu.
“Senator Ali Modu Sheriff was duly elected as the National Chairman of the PDP. He still holds office as the National Chairman and has not been removed by any court.
“We therefore urge those misleading the media and the unsuspecting public to desist from such. The media is also urged to always cross-check their facts before going to press.”
Mr. Modu-Sheriff has laid claim to his seat as PDP chairman after he was sacked by the party’s convention held in Port Harcourt, citing court orders to justify his position.