The PDP National Caretaker Committee Text Of Press Conference On The Current Situation Of The Party And The Illegal Occupation Of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff And Co-travellers At Wadata Plaza Delivered By Prince Dayo Adeyeye On Thursday, 9th of March, 2017At The PDP Temporary Secretariat, No. 13 Thaba-Tseka Street, Wuse 2, Abuja.
The Issues, Myth, Facts, And Way Forward
Gentlemen of the Press, thank you for joining us and good afternoon.
Again, we have called you here after ten days of addressing you on the happenings in the Party following the recent Court of Appeal Judgment in Port Harcourt on the 17th of February, 2017. At the present, there are more disturbing issues in our great Party, the PDP, which may forestall all efforts by stakeholders towards the reconciliation process and consequent rebuilding of the PDP to take its pride of place as the Major Voice of Opposition Party in the Country.
(2).Firstly, let us remind the public of our earlier calls on Senator Ali Modu Sheriff to stop parading himself as Acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) following the Judgment of an Abuja High Court delivered by Justice Valentine Ashi on June 29, 2016 in which the Court nullified the 2014 Amendment to the PDP Constitution that produced Senator Sheriff as Acting National Chairman of the PDP. This Judgment was never appealed by Senator Sheriff and the time frame stipulated by law for the Appeal has elapsed; and as such, the Judgment subsists. It is interesting to note that Senator Sheriff is very much aware of the binding implication of the Subsisting Judgment on his ‘status’ as National Chairman because we have been reliably informed that he is now seeking leave of Court to appeal the Judgment but unfortunately, time is against this later move. So, he is an illegal National Chairman.
(3). Secondly, in another Judgment delivered on August 17, 2016 by Justice Nwamaka Ogbonnaya of the FCT High Court in Abuja re-affirmed the ‘Sack’ of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party on the ground that the Judgment of Justice Valentine Ashi which nullified his appointment has not been set aside or vacated and therefore it’s subsisting. Justice Ogbonnaya further held that all actions taken by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff are null, void and of no effect; and the Order further restrained him from parading himself as the Acting National Chairman of the Party. Once again, he is currently an illegal Acting National Chairman given the decisions the Courts, the Constitution of the PDP, decision of the National Convention coupled with his act of break and entry into the National Secretariat of our great Party, Wadata Plaza.
(4). Thirdly to buttress the above, the general public will also recall that the Judgment of the Appeal Court, Port Harcourt Division of Friday February 17, 2017 that nullified the National convention of May 21, 2016 limits itself solely on the legality or otherwise of the National Convention of May 21st, 2016 and not on the legality or otherwise of the Appointment of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the Acting National Chairman of the PDP.
(5).Fourthly this Man, Sheriff and his co-travelers are in defiant of the Court of Appeal Judgment which they seem to enjoy. For emphasis, the Judgment declared Status Quo Ante May 21, 2016; and Senator Sheriff is in gross violation of it having appointed persons from the comfort of his bedroom to fill purported vacancies. Article 47(6) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Constitution (As Amended in 2012) provides processes to follow in such situation, “Where a vacancy occurs in any of the offices of the Party, the Executive Committee at the appropriate level shall appoint another person from the area or zone where the officer originated from, pending the conduct of election to fill the vacancy.” Following this fact, Senator Sheriff is also functioning illegally at the National Secretariat, Wadata Plaza with only three NWC officers. The quorum of the NWC is two third – that is, eight (08) members. See Article 29(4) PDP Constitution (As Amended in 2012).
(6). Fifthly, Consequently Dr. Cairo Ojugbo and Hon Bernard Mikko are illegal entities in the NWC. They were never elected into the NWC, nor were they appointed to the NWC by NEC.
(7). Our attention has also been drawn to a purported proposal by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and his self-appointed NWC members to organize congresses in Oyo, Kwara, Sokoto, Lagos and Anambra states, respectively. Let the public note that this proposal is illegal by an illegal leadership of the Party that is in gross violation of the Constitution of the PDP and the Order of Courts. We therefore advise our Party leaders, other members and teeming supporters in the affected states to boycott any congress to be conducted by Senator Sheriff and his cohorts. All further actions taken by him and his illegal team will be challenged in Court and cannot stand.
(8). We wish to use this opportunity to inform and clarify to our members and teaming supporters nationwide that the PDP has no standing ‘Reconciliation Committee’ Chaired by the Governor of Bayelsa State, Rt. Hon. Seriake Dickson. Our members and the general public will recall that the 69th National Executive Committee (NEC) of the PDP in 2016 approved the constitution of 4 Ad-hoc Committees prior to the May 21st 2016 National Convention in Port Harcourt, and they seized to function after May 21, 2016. The Committees were:
i. National Convention Planning Committee Chaired by the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State as Deputy Chairman and Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State as Secretary;
ii. Reconciliation Committee, Chaired by the Governor of Bayelsa State, Rt. Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson and it has Senator Ibrahim Nasir Mantu as the Deputy Chairman;
iii. Finance Committee, Chaired by the Governor of Gombe State, Dr. Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo and it has Senator Godswill Akpabio as the Deputy Chairman and;
iv. Zoning Committee, Chaired by the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel and it has the Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, Barr. Kelechi Igwe as the Secretary.
Note: These Committees were inaugurated by Senator Sheriff as the Acting National Chairman on April 5, 2016 to carry out their specific roles in line with the directives of the 69th NEC for a hitch-free National Convention in May 2016. That Reconciliation Committee was constituted to reconcile aggrieved Party members before the National Convention in Port Harcourt. However, we respect our Governor, Seriake Dickson and acknowledge his effort towards holding the next National Convention but he acted hastily and presented the proposal in error to Senator Sheriff.
(9). Our members and the general public is aware that the entire organs and structures of the Party are united with the National Caretaker Committee being a Product of the Supreme Organ of the Party, the National Convention. They are: the National Executive Committee (NEC), the Board of Trustees (BoT), the Forum of State Chairmen, the National Assembly Caucus, Governors Forum, the Former Ministers Forum, the National Secretariat Workforce and at least 90% of the Party members and supporters nationwide. Notwithstanding, the National Caretaker Committee working with all the Organs of the PDP are open to reconciliation efforts that will bring lasting peace to the Party but will not accept continuous acts of illegality from Senator Sheriff and Co. Party members should therefore note this obvious anomaly and ignore proposal from the said Reconciliation Committee. For emphasis, in line with former President Goodluck Jonathan’s statement, any agreed position by all concerned in this matter and in the interest of all members of the Party will be communicated to members and the general public accordingly.
- Again, we call on Senator Ali Modu Sheriff to vacate the National Secretariat (Wadata Plaza) immediately in line with the subsisting and binding Judgment of the Courts in respect of his status of appointment which he did not appeal; and it’s out of the timeline already. He must stop parading himself as the Acting National Chairman of the Party forthwith. Otherwise, we shall cause ‘Form 48’ to be issued against his recalcitrant behavior against the Ruling of competent Courts of Jurisdiction and his illegal activities and occupation of the PDP National Headquarters. The Nigerian Police should act in line with its Constitutional mandate to force compliance of these Orders of the Courts.
- Given the lawless and untoward behavior of Senator Sheriff so far, it appears that there will be no meeting point in this matter. However, without prejudice to the Appeal Suit before the Supreme Court challenging the Recent Judgment of the Court of Appeal, the National Caretaker Committee working for the Organs of the Party and the people is not averse to reconciliation processes that may result to a workable ‘political solution’ as proposed by the Governors’ Forum with the former President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR.
- The present illegally constituted NWC led by Senator Sheriff must stop operations on behalf of the Party immediately. We want to state unequivocally that the Party will not hold any National Convention under the leadership of Senator Sheriff. WE ARE DETERMINED TO PURSUE THE MATTER BEFORE THE SUPREME CONCLUSIVELY in the interest of justice, equity, fair play and democracy in general.
Finally, we call on all our members, teeming supporters and all lovers of democracy to be calm and continue to support the Senator Ahmed Makarfi led National Caretaker Committee in its quest to return our great Party to the people in line with the ideals of our founding fathers. It is indeed our desire to rebuild, revive and revitalize the PDP in collaboration with all the organs and structures of the Party that will culminate into a well-deserving, all-inclusive and participatory National Convention very soon. We enjoin you all to not despair because surely, justice shall be served; and we will reposition our Party to re-claim government in 2019.
Long live the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)!Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!
Thank you and God bless.
Prince Dayo Adeyeye
For: National Caretaker Committee