The legal battle over the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party is set to continue for a while longer as the Supreme Court has adjourned its hearing on the matter until May 25.
The nation’s highest court had on Thursday resumed hearing on the application filed before it by the National Chairman of the Party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, against the appeal filed by the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the party.
The Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee of the party had on March 16 approached the Supreme Court, asking it to overturn the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on February 27, which declared Sheriff as the legitimate National Chairman of the party.
But Sheriff filed his application five days later, arguing that Makarfi had no legal grounds for his appeal. At Thursday’s hearing, Sheriff’s counsel asked the Supreme Court not to hear the appeal because it was not properly filed.
He argued that this was because the PDP as led by Sheriff did not give anyone the permission to file a suit on its behalf and as such the suit filed by Makarfi is null and void.
The Supreme Court judges, however, asked him if as a party to the suit at the appellate court Makarfi did not have any right to file an appeal, especially as he was aggrieved with the judgment of the Appeal Court and the judgment was not granted as an exparte order.
In response, Sheriff’s counsel said that even though Makarfi could file an appeal, he wasn’t eligible to do so in the name of the PDP since there was no authorisation by the legally recognised leadership of the party.
According to him, by the judgment of the Appeal Court which recognised the Sheriff-led executive council as the authentic leadership of the party, it is only Sheriff that can decide if the party wants to challenge the judgment or not.
On his part, counsel to Makarfi urged the court to disregard the argument, because the issues raised by Sheriff’s counsel were already in the substantive suit before the court and since issue have been joined there was no need to listen to anybody who was not a part of the suit.