PDP Ask Supreme Court To Strike Out Appeal

As the Supreme Court prepares Thursday to hear an application of the sacked Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for accelerated hearing of its appeal, the national leadership of the party has asked the apex court to strike out the appeal.

In a motion filed on Wednesday at the registry of the apex court by Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) and Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), the PDP said it has not authorized anyone to appeal the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Appeal Nos: CA/PH/349/2016 delivered on 17th February, 2017.

The party said its alter ego – the National Working Committee and National Executive Committee, led by Senator Ali Modu Sherrif (Chairman) and Prof. Wale Oladipo (Secretary) – did not authorize the filing of Appeal No: SC/133/2017 in the name of Peoples Democratic Party.

The other grounds of the motion are that, “the Appellant/Applicant, acting through its alter ego – National Working Committee and National Executive Committee, led by Senator Ali Modu Sherrif (chairman) and Prof. Wale Oladipo (Secretary) have taken steps to withdraw the purported appeal filed on behalf of the party – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – without their authority;

“The Appellant/Applicant, acting through its alter ego- National Working Committee and National Executive Committee led by Senator Ali Modu Sherrif (chairman) and Prof. Wale Oladipo (Secretary) never briefed nor instructed Messrs. Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN, Chief Kanu Agabi SAN, Emmanuel C. Ukala SAN, Oladejo Lamikanra SAN and their junior colleagues either jointly and/or severally to file any appeal on behalf of the Peoples Democratic Party against the judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered on 17/2/2017 in Appeal No: CA/PH/349/2016.

“Having filed a notice of withdrawal of the appeal, it is necessary to strike out the appeal filed without the necessary authorization of the alter-ego of the Peoples Democratic Party; and the Appeal filed without due or necessary authority of the Appellant is a nullity.”

In a 14-paragraph affidavit deposed to by the acting National Legal Adviser, Bashir Maidugu and filed on the 21st of March, 2017 at the Registry of the apex court, he stated, among others, as follows: “That I am the Acting National Legal Adviser of the Peoples Democratic Party (hereinafter referred to simply as “PDP”) and I also appeared as a representative of the party at the Court of Appeal. Attached herewith as “Exhibit A” is a copy of the proceedings of the Court of Appeal in this regard.

“That I have the consent, information and authority of both the National Executive Committee (NEC) and the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party ably being led by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff (Chairman and Professor Wale Oladipo – Secretary) to depose to this affidavit.

“That the Appellant/Applicant is a corporate entity duly registered as a political party under the relevant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“That I know as a fact that the Appellant/Applicant can only function and act through its legal alter-ego, or directing minds or principal officers.

“That I know as a fact that Appellant/Applicant, acting through its alter-ego – National Working Committee (NWC) and National Executive Committee (NEC) headed or led by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff (Chairman) and Professor Wale Oladipo (Secretary) never authorized the filing of the instant appeal in the name of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Appeal Nos: CA/PH/349/2016 delivered on 17th February, 2017.

“That apart from my knowing the facts of this case, I was also informed by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff in the office of Lateef Fagbemi, SAN at Rivers State House, Central Business District, Abuja on 19th day of March, 2017 at about 8:00pm of the facts stated herein and I verily believe him as true and correct.

“That I know as a fact that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has no desire to appeal against the said judgment.

“That by a letter dated 5th day of March, 2017, but delivered on 8th day of March, 2017, which was jointly signed by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, Professor Wale Oladipo and my humble self, the senior counsel who filed the said appeal on behalf of PDP, was also duly notified to refrain and desist, from representing the PDP in the said appeal as the party has not authorized him to appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered on 17th February, 2017. A copy of the said letter is herewith attached and marked “Exhibit B”.

“That upon becoming aware of the filing of an appeal against the said judgment of the Court of Appeal by Messrs Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN, Emmanuel C. Ukala, SAN, Oladejo Lamikanra, SAN on behalf of the PDP, I know as a fact that the PDP acting through its alter-ego – NWC and NEC led by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff (Chairman) and Professor Wale Oladipo (Secretary) and my humble self have taken all necessary steps to withdraw the said appeal section.

“A copy of the notice of withdrawal of appeals No: SC/133/2017 dated and filed on the 15th day of March, 2017 is attached and marked “Exhibit C”.

“That the Appellant/Applicant acting through its alter-ego-NWC and NEC led by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff (Chairman) and Professor Wole Oladipo (Secretary) never briefed or instructed Messrs. Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, Chief KanuAgabi, SAN, Emmanuel C. Ukala, SAN, OladejoLamikanra, SAN and their junior colleagues or anyone of them to file any appeal on behalf of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“That the Appellant/Applicant have no desire to appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered on 17/3/2017 nor any interest to pursue same further, and have now so instructed Messrs Lateef O. Fagbemi, SAN and Dr. Alex Izinyon, SAN to act on their behalf vide their letters of instruction attached and marked “Exhibits D and D1”, respectively.

“That having filed a notice of withdrawal of the appeal, it is necessary to strike out the purported appeal filed without the necessary authorization of the alter-ego of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).”