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PDP crises: Supreme Court says Makarfi can appeal

*Hearing fixed for 25th May

Supreme Court has struck out an application by Ali Modu Sheriff, the sitting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), asking the court not to hear the appeal of Ahmed Makarfi, the chairman of the factional national caretaker of the party.

Makarfi had a filed an appeal at the apex court to challenge the judgement of the Port Harcourt division of the appeal court which sacked his caretaker committee and affirmed Sheriff as chairman of the party.

The hearing of the matter was fixed for 25th May.

Sheriff in the application asked the apex court to not to hear Makarfi’s appeal because he could not initiate legal proceedings in the name of the party, having being sacked by the appeal court.

At the court on Monday, Akin Olujimi (SAN), counsel to Sheriff, said Wole Olanipekun (SAN), counsel to Markafi, was abusing the court by using two processes to sustain his appeal.

He further asked the court not to allow the appeal, stating that Olanipekun did not apply for leave on some 20 out 24 grounds of arguments.

“This constitutes an abuse of court processes. He is using two different processes to sustain his appeal,” Olujimi asserted.

On his part, Olanipekun urged the court to allow his appeal challenging the appeal court’s judgement.

“I urge your lordships to discountenance all that he has said, saying we did not seek leave for our grounds. He is the one abusing court processes,” he said.

“Our appeal was dated 27th April and the judgement of the court of appeal was dated 17th February. According to the Supreme Court rule, we have three months. Why will we be asking for leave for time when we were within time? Application for leave to appeal is also an appeal.”

After listening to both sides, the five-man team of justices led by Walter Onnoghen, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), allowed the appeal.

“In this circumstance, we find merit in the appeal which is accordingly granted,” Onnoghen said in the lead judgement.


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