Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has been warned by the National Caretaker Committee of the party, to stop parading himself as the leader of the party, threatening that Sheriff risks going to jail if he fails to heed the warning.
Senator Ahmed Makarfi, who heads the PDP caretaker committee, and Senator Sheriff have been at loggerheads over who is the authentic national chairman of the party since May, this year.
Several efforts to resolve the leadership crisis, which has polarised the opposition party, were unsuccessful.
The caretaker committee , in a statement issued yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye said, in line with various court judgments, it is contemptuous for the former Borno governor to continue to lay claim to the PDP national chairmanship seat.
“First and foremost, we wish to state categorically that in consonance with judgement of various courts, which Ali Modu-Sheriff and his team of confused travellers have not bothered to appeal, he is not the chairman of our party. His consistent claim to the office is a continuation of their plans to sustain mayhem in our party, but, nature and fair justice have taken care of his desperation.
“We wish to draw the attention of all Nigerians to the judgement delivered by Justice Valentine Ashi of the FCT High Court, which states clearly that Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff was never and is not the PDP National Chairman.
“It is instructive to note that Modu-Sheriff and his team of circus performers have not deemed it fit to appeal the court judgement.
“The courts have spoken, and their pronouncements are binding. However, those who wish to spend the rest of their lives behind prison bars may continue to utter heresy against the court. We hope their children would be proud to bear the family names of convicts,” it stated.
The caretaker committee added that it is morally wrong for the Sheriff group to blame it for the PDP’s loss in Edo and Ondo governorship elections. It noted that the whole world knows who the real enemies of the party are.
“We won’t also, forget in a hurry, the ignoble role Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim played in scuttling our campaign for the Ondo election. We also know those who pushed him forward for the hatchet job,”it said.
However, in a swift reaction, Deputy National Chairman of Sheriff faction, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh said members of the caretaker committee “are the ones that might be jailed for contempt of court.”
Ojougboh, in a telephone interview, said the judgement the caretaker committee is talking about has nothing to do with the former Borno governor.
“It is the caretaker committee that is actually playing with jail terms because there is a Form 48 and 49 already issued against them from the Federal High Court that is waiting for them.
“The effort to serve and arrest them was aborted because they evaded the law.
“Justice Mohammed of Abuja High Court ruled that the tenure of the NWC expires in 2018 and, therefore, Sheriff remains the only and authentic national chairman.
“The judgement Prince Adeyeye and company are talking about has nothing to do with Sheriff.”