There was anxiety in the camps of the two factions of the Peoples Democratic Party on Tuesday as both eagerly anticipated the outcome of the Supreme Court judgment on the leadership crisis in the party.
The judgment is expected to be delivered on Wednesday (today) in Abuja.
While the camp of the National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, said it was expecting the apex court to deliver what it called justice, the camp of the National Caretaker Committee of the party, headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, said it would not speak on what might be the outcome of the case.
Rather, it said it would wait for the judgment to be delivered before making its position known.
The apex court’s five-man bench, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, had, on Monday, May 23, adjourned for judgment after the adoption of addresses by both parties.
Justice Onnoghen, who reserved judgment after the hearing, is leading the five-man panel hearing the case.
Other justices on the panel are Justices Tanko Muhammad, Bode Rhodes-Vivour, Kayode Ariwoola and Dattijo Muhammad.
The Acting National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Bernard Mikko, who spoke on behalf of Sheriff, told our correspondent that the crisis rocking the party would be expected to come to an end after the judgment.
Mikko stated, “We are all eagerly waiting for the outcome of the case. We have been informed and told that the judgment will be delivered on Wednesday (today).
“We are expecting judgment and we are expecting justice to be done.
“It is good that the judgment will come early and allow the party to sit up and begin to work together as a true opposition political party ahead of 2019.
“It is also noteworthy that the majority of the combatants, including the likes of Governors Ayodele Fayose and Nyesom Wike of Ekiti and Rivers states respectively, have said they will not leave the party no matter the outcome of the case.
“In our own case, we remain members of the party irrespective of the outcome of the case. Whichever way it goes, it (the judgment) will strength our party and democracy.”
Spokesperson for the Makarfi’s caretaker committee, Dayo Adeyeye, said he would not make any comment on the expected judgment.
“I’m not going to speak on the expected judgment until after it must have been delivered. So, let’s wait till tomorrow (today),” he said.
Our correspondent however learnt that the party’s former ministers had asked members of the party to attend the court sitting on Wednesday.
The former ministers, in a text message to some of the members of the party, which was seen by our correspondent, said, “Finally, the Supreme Court of Nigeria has today officially notified our great party, the PDP, of the date to deliver judgment on the suit PDP vs. Sheriff and four others.
“Our teeming supporters and members, who are willing to attend, are hereby encouraged to do so in solidarity with the PDP. God bless the PDP! God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
The Makarfi faction, which has the support of the majority of the stakeholders and caucuses of the party, won the first case at the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Sheriff and his team, who were dissatisfied with the outcome of the judgment, approached the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt for a review of the High Court judgment.
The former governor of Borno State won at the appeal court, but Makarfi and his team challenged the judgment at the apex court.
Sheriff was appointed by the party’s leadership to complete the tenure of the former National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, who is from the North-East.
His tenure was to last for three months, but different political procedures have been used to keep him in office since the expiration of the tenure of Mu’azu.
The former governor had planned a national convention, where he would be re-elected, but the plan was truncated by the party’s governors, who were his initial backers.
Makarfi and his team, who were appointed at the party’s national convention in Port Harcourt, which was later nullified by the Court of Appeal, had also attempted to conduct a national convention, but stalled due to the crisis in the party.