An aggrieved group within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Restart PDP Group, has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja to seek an order to compel Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the national Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to vacate office by the end of March.
The group is also seeking an order of the court to compel the party’s leadership not to hold the forthcoming national convention until the membership register of the party is computerised as stipulated in section 8(11) of its constitution.
In a suit filed by Mr. Emmanuel Nwosu Nwosu and Mr. Eze Chuks Silas on behalf of the Restart PDP Group on March 8, the group demanded that Sheriff and all other national officers of the PDP whose tenure of office will expire in March 2016 should be barred from unlawfully extending their tenure of office beyond the expiry date as provided in the party’s constitution.
The National Executive Committee (NEC) and all other major organs of the party had approved the continued stay in office by the Sheriff-led National Working Committee (NWC) till May to conduct national convention fixed for May 21, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
But the PDP Restart Group has insisted that the March 31, 2016 exit date for all members of the NWC is sacrosanct and must be obeyed.
The suit, number Cv/1174/16, filed at a Federal High Court in Abuja had Emmanuel Nwosu and Mr. Eze Chuks Silas, as the plaintiff while PDP, Sheriff and the NWC are the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively.
In the copy of the summons made available to journalists, the plaintiffs asked for an order “restraining the PDP, Sheriff and all other national officers of the party whose tenure of office shall expire in March 31, 2016 from further extending their stay in office.
The group further asked for a declaration of the court that Sheriff “having emerged to complete the unexpired constitutionally stipulated four-years term of the last former national chairman of be party, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, should vacate office at the at expiry date on March 31, 2016.
It held that any extension of Sheriff’s tenure would contravene the provisions of sections 2; and 47(1) and (6) of the constitution of the party.”
The group specifically asked the court to restrain “the 1st defendant and all its organs from conducting party congress and 2016 national convention or other further national conventions pending the computerisation of the party membership register as stipulated in section 8(11) of the party’s constitution.”
The spokesman of the Restart PDP Group, Chief Jackson Ude, said the suit became necessary to ensure that the PDP allow the constitution of the party prevail instead of “back-door agreement by few selfish individuals in the party.”
“If the PDP constitution says Bamanga Tukur and Adamu Mu’azu’s tenures which Ali Modu Sheriff is concluding expires March 28, so be it. Let him and members of the NWC leave so the Party can cleanse itself and begin on a new slate
“We must go back to the rule of law and the constitution. The impunity within the party is because few individual decided on their own to jettison the constitution for their own selfish interest. All well-meaning members of the PDP must insist on the constitution,” Ude said.