PDP crisis: Makarfi wants Justice Abang to disqualify himself, court rules on application Sept. 29

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The Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, to hand-off all cases involving the party.

The court will on September 29 deliver ruling in preliminary objection filed by the  Makarfi-led PDP against Senator Ali Modu Sherrif-led PDP

Makarfi is challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain a case filed Sherrif-led faction of the party on the parties convention in Port Harcourt.

Justice Okon Abang, fixed the date on Wednesday after counsel arguments on the stay of proceedings pending the determination of the appeal filed by Makarfi.

Abang said that both parties raised issues which would not be possible for him to make findings and deliver ruling same day in the open court.

He, therefore, adjourned ruling on the application till Sept. 29

Makarfi’s counsel, Emmanual Ukala (SAN), had challenged the ruling of the court delivered on Aug. 15.

At the resumed hearing, Ukala informed the court that he filed a notice of appeal challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the case.

Ukala said that the record of proceedings had been transmitted from the Court of Appeal to the Federal High Court.

He said that the grounds of his appeal was the interlocutory decisions of the court restraining his client from conducting its planned national convention in Port Harcourt.

The learned silk told the court that he served the plaintiffs with the verifying affidavit to show that his appeal had been entered before the appellate court.

Ukala said that it was a trite law that once an appeal had been entered against the decision of a lower court, it had no option than to stay further proceeding in the matter.

He submitted that the appellate court had a binding authority over the Federal High Court and as such could not share jurisdiction.

Ukala said it was not proper for the lower court to exercise jurisdiction in the subject matter of the case since the two courts could not share jurisdiction in the same subject matter.

He, therefore, urged the court to decline jurisdiction in the hearing of this case.

Sheriff’s Counsel, Mr Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), opposed the application, contending that they were not served with the verifying affidavit.

Akintola said that the notices of appeal were not before the court, and
argued that the defendant had three different appeals challenging the decisions of the court which were not related to the substantive issue before the court.

But, Counsel to PDP, Mr Ferdinand Fakunle (SAN), argued that Makarfi’s lawyer did not cite any authority to convince the court to grant his application

Fakunle submitted that the defendant’s appeal was not challenging the substantive suit itself but only challenging the interlocutory orders earlier made by the court.

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