Sheriff asks court to jail Fani-Kayode, Makarfi for contesting his chairmanship of PDP

Factional national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senator Ali Modu Sheriff has asked the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, Rivers state to jail factional leader Senator Ahmed Makarfi, and some of his loyalists.

The Punch reports that apart from Makarfi, Sheriff wants the trio of sacked factional national caretaker committee secretary Senator Ben Obi and publicity secretary Dayo Adeyeye as well as former aviation minister Femi Fani-Kayode jailed.

This prayer was contained in a suit filed on Friday, February 24 before the court by Sheriff and factional national secretary of the party Prof. Wale Oladipo, who accused Makarfi and others of flouting the order of the court, which was delivered on February 17, 2017.

Sheriff, in suit number FHC/ PH/CS/524/16, asked the court to commit the four persons to prison for one year over the alleged contempt.

Also joined in the suit are a former Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives Emeka Ihedioha; a former Minister of Information Prof. Jerry Gana; Chairman, Board of Trustees of the party Senator Walid Jibrin and an aspirant to the office of the party’s national chairman Chief Bode George.

But for these ones, Sheriff asked for a restraining order preventing them from “proclaiming or otherwise holding out to the public that the 1st to 3rd alleged contemnors are national officers of the PDP for any purpose whatsoever.”

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Oladipo, who signed an affidavit in support of the claim, stated that on February 17, “soon after the judgment was delivered, the alleged contemnors proceeded to address the media and to comment negatively, contemptuously, disparagingly and contumeliously on the findings and order of the court set out above.”

He added: “Rather than accept that the justice of the matter as determined by this honourable court was as expressed in the findings, holdings and order set out above, the 4th to 8th Alleged Contemnors made statements encouraging the 1st to 3rd respondents to defy the order of the court and flout the purpose of the court’s judgment delivered on the 17th of February 2017.”

Oladipo noted that it was on this basis that the alleged contemnors placed notices in newspapers, where they convened a meeting of what they called “PDP stakeholders.”

He continued: “The said meeting was held on Monday, February 20, and was attended by the 4th to 8th alleged contemnors, who made further statements encouraging the 1st to 3rd alleged contemnors to defy the holdings and order of the court.

“The actions of the alleged contemnors, as shown in the affidavit in support of this application, have the effort of flouting the purpose of the judgment of this Honourable court, which purpose is to properly regulate the exercise of powers by the alleged contemnors against the applicants and 1st Respondent; avoid any further anarchy, lawlessness and deepening crisis capable of heating up the Nigerian polity; and establish the requirements of the rule of law and due process in the administration of justice.

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“Although the alleged contemnors were not parties to the action in court, it is our humble submission that they have a responsibility to ensure that they do not aid and abet the disobedience of the judgment order or treat the said judgment with disdain and disrespect.”

 

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