Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday, fixed September 29 to decide whether or not he should hands off the legal tussle between two factions of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, led by Senators Ahmed Makarfi and Ali Modu Sheriff.
The judge had on August 15 issued an order of interlocutory injunction that barred the party from conducting its national convention.

The order, which came barely 48 hours to a convention the party scheduled to take place in Port Harcourt on August 17, equally stopped the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from monitoring the exercise.

He said the party must not sponsor any candidate or conduct election into any of its national offices, pending the determination of a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/464/2016, which Sheriff and seven others lodged before the court.

Meanwhile, at the resumed hearing on the matter yesterday, Markafi and six other members of the party, through their lawyer, Mr. Emmanuel Ukala, SAN, challenged the jurisdiction of Justice Abang to further preside over the matter.

They asked Justice Abang to hands off the suit and await judgment of the Court of Appeal on three separate appeals entered against his previous decisions on the PDP leadership crisis.

Ukala, who notified the court that the appeals were filed on July 28, August 15 and 16, respectively, said there was need for Justice Abang to “step aside” from the case.

“Once an appeal has been entered, the court below ought to stand aside and allow the Court of Appeal to have the opportunity to exercise its jurisdiction on the matter”, Ukala submitted.

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