I won’t recognize convention outcome – Sheriff …demands sack of Justices Liman, Watila …accuses judge of avoiding his case


By; SUNDAY ODE, Abuja.
Claimant to the office of the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Sheriff on Tuesday vowed never to recognize the outcome of Wednesday’s repeat national convention of the party holding in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital.
Sheriff also said that he was willing to hand over the party to a new chairman any time a free and fair election was conducted to choose a new leadership.
Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, he said: “I have done what I have done, I want the party to be repaired. If they want us to do a convention and bring new officers, as long as it is a free and fair convention which I call in Abuja…
“I told them, I don’t even want to be chairman again because you only like to be a chairman where everybody is happy with what you are doing.
“If people believe with you around they cannot get what they want, me, I don’t want to join issues with anybody but the right thing must be done. That is the bone of contention.”
Sheriff said he was particularly miffed by what he described as an attempt by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State to take over the PDP using public funds.
He stated: “Look at what Wike was saying today that nobody can stop them, that they are going to go ahead with the convention. But already, a pronouncement has been made in Abuja that it must be suspended.
“But the truth about it is that whatever they do is illegal. For me, it’s not acceptable. I will not recognize any of this gathering. I will pursue the rule of law until Justice is done. Then I will leave.
“This party is for Nigeria. I am ready to go tomorrow if justice would be done, if elections are conducted in Abuja, people are allowed to choose who they want as leaders, I will be prepared to hand over to that person.
“But unless and until we do that, I have a right. I have been elected by the NEC for a specific period of time. That period will not finish until 2018 but I am ready to go tomorrow.
“I don’t want to be an impediment but let this party not be taken over by one person. We cannot allow it.”
While conceding that Port Harcourt High Court has not stopped the convention, he said he was shocked that a court that was supposed to be on vacation could be available to hand down the ruling.
He was referring to Monday’s Federal High Court ruling which validated the conduct of the national convention and ordered that security should be provided for it.
The chairmanship claimant alleged that the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt had avoided hearing his own side by allegedly ordering all registry staff to stay away from office until his own legal team made contact with unnamed individuals around the country.
Accordingly, he called for the sack of the judges involved warning that unless this was done, there could be anarchy in the country.
Specifically, he called for punishment for Justice Ibrahim Liman and Justice Ibrahim Watila of the Federal High Court Port Harcourt, both of whom had ruled against his interest.
He said: “But we as a party are shocked by that ruling. All the judges in Nigeria are on annual vacation. We have been in court with all of them for the past one month on one issue.
“But yesterday (Monday), a judge in Port Harcourt started a case of Friday, people went and filed court cases on Thursday which was the 9th and got an exparte motion.
“On that Thursday, the court gave an exparte motion. The next day, he converted that exparte motion to an interlocutory order. Saturday and Sunday are no working days. On Monday, he sat and heard the main case to give a ruling or judgment today at 2 o’clock.
“Without allowing us as defendants to defend ourselves, this morning when our lawyers went to court, the judge authorized all the registry staff to run away. It had to take our lawyer, an SAN, to call everybody in Nigeria that this Judiciary should not be destroyed.
“But the truth about it is that the whole thing is a hoax.
“The judiciary in Port Harcourt has already been taken over by Governor Wike who believes that he has public money to do whatever he wants to do.
“These need urgent attention. We are calling in the Chief Justice of the Federation to look into the Port Harcourt Division of this judiciary otherwise they will bring anarchy to this country.
“The irony of this is that Liman is the most senior administrative judge there. What he did before, he is asking another judge to repeat the same because he is the senior judge and this Justice Ibrahim Watila is available to be used.
“Unless those kind of people are removed completely, Nigeria will have problems.
“We are joining all other Nigerians to call on the Judicial Service Commission, the Chief Justice of the Federation and the Chief Judge of the High Court to immediately remove these bad elements in the judiciary otherwise, we will have problems.”


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