Hopes of pacifying both factions in the un-ending leadership crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took a huge blow on Monday as Two High Courts of Coordinate jurisdiction delivered conflicting verdicts on the case.
A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday stopped the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party from going ahead with its plan to conduct the national convention of the party slated for Thursday.
The court presided over by Justice Okon Abang ruled during the proceedings that lasted eight hours on Monday that the interim order would subsist till the motion filed by the Ali Modu Sheriff-led faction seeking an interlocutory injunction against the convention is heard and determined.
The judge described as a slap on the court’s face the act of Obi by “secretly” obtaining another order at Port Hacourt to let the convention to go ahead when the ruling of the court on the application filed by him and others seeking to be joined in the suit as parties was being awaited.
Justice Abang said the order obtained by Obi from Port Harcourt was obtained to neutralize the proceedings of the court.
“Senator Ben Obi cannot treat the court with levity. What is the reason for rushing to another court when the court is already seized of this matter?”
“I want to point out that a court of coordinate jurisdiction cannot make an order that will neutralise the proceedings of this court.”
“The Port Harcourt Division of this court cannot make an order to neutralise the proceedings of this court.”
Meanwhile, a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt also seating on Monday validated the August 17th , 2016 National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party , PDP, scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt, directing the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to monitor party’s national convention.
The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt also directed the Inspector-General of Police, the Rivers State Commissioner of Police the Director-General of the Department of State Services, DSS, the Police and the DSS to provide security for the national convention billed to hold in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, 17th August, 2016.
Justice Ibrahim Watila Watila ruled:
“The 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants are hereby mandated to provide security for the national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, August 17 2016 or any other date and venue pending the hearing the originating summons as the honorable court may decide.”
“The 5th defendant (INEC) is mandated to monitor the National Convention of the People’s Democratic Party scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt on Wednesday August 17, 2016 or any other date and venue pending the hearing and determination of the originating summons as the honourable court may decide.”
Addressing journalists in Port Harcourt, Governor Wike said everything is set for the for the convention.
“Let me assure you that as the chairman of the National Convention Planning Committee, we are backed by law and the court that the convention will go ahead.”