The embattled National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ali Modu Sheriff, has finally entered the national secretariat In Abuja and resumed office. Mr. Sheriff was denied access to the secretariat by police earlier today because of the number of supporters accompanying him.

The former Borno State Governor, later returned to the secretariat with court papers and a bailiff, and was granted access to the PDP facilities. Mr. Sheriff is also said to have spoke with the Inspector General of the Police Solomon Arase on the telephone.

Mr. Sheriff then addressed members of the media once he was returned to office. In his remarks he lambasted the PDP for disobeying court orders and installing a National Caretaker Committee.

The National Caretaker Committee, headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, assumed the secretariat last week.

 

Below is text from Mr. Sheriff’s statement:

Gentlemen of the Press, it is with a very high sense of responsibility that I address you today over issues as it affect the leadership of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. As you may be aware, we have been facing some challenges, since we put off the National Convention, planned for Port Harcourt last month. I will therefore consider it the height of self deceit for anyone to pretend that the PDP is not in crisis, but also wish to assure you that, we have been working round the clock to see how we can resolve the matter, without being on the wrong side of the law. It is public knowledge that, although there was an order by the Federal High Court in Lagos, declaring me the authentic National Chairman of the PDP, I have kept away from taking steps that could jeopardize the law following an exparte order from the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt which had given a contradictory order, restraining me from operating as the Chairman of our party notwithstanding some further orders from the Federal High Court Lagos, specifically directing the inspector General of Police to provide me with adequate security to enable me carry my duties. Now that the ex parte order given in Port Harcourt has since lapsed on the 9th of June and has not been renewed or extended, it is now my pleasure and privilege to inform you that I have fully resumed as the one and only National Chairman of our great party, the PDP.

I have all the while kept away from the office in strict compliance with the ex parte order of the port Harcourt Federal High Court which lapsed on the 9th of June and not because I sanction the illegalities being committed by some few members of our party.

You are all witnesses to the effect that, while the court procedures are still going on, a lot of illegalities; in clear defiance of the law have been taking place in the party, under the guise of a contraption called caretaker Committee.

I had hoped that, for once, the PDP, which have been accused of promoting impunity and declining lawful orders will purge itself, which informed my decision to obey the courts.

Permit me to state that lawful pronouncements by courts, no matter how inconvenient they may be are to be obeyed, no matter one's position. And no person should be seen to be above the pronouncements of competent courts of this country.

Be that as it may, let me state for the avoidance of doubt, that, beyond the court orders, the PDP operates with a set of laws, which guides the conducts of our affairs.

I therefore call on everyone to shun all acts that will tend to portray the party as being lawless. We must learn to obey our own laws first before we can hope to provide the desired leadership. Against this background, I hereby declare as null void and of no consequence whatsoever, any action taken by any person or group of persons, except by my leadership which is recognized by the law.

After due consultations with serious minded stakeholders of the party and my lawyers, against the background that have remained committed to lawful procedures, l have come, fully armed with all the necessary court orders to resume as the National Chairman, as directed by a court of competent jurisdiction.

As we settle down to move the party forward, we wish to call on all party members within and outside the country to come around so that we can together reposition the PDP for future challenges.

We have to this effect served the necessary court orders on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which is the impartial arbiter in matters like this; the Police as custodians of the law and we will make same available to you gentlemen of the Press, so that you can make informed analysis of the issues involved.

We herby seek your own cooperation as we continue the task of re-engineering the PDP. I wish to use this opportunity to thank all those who stood on the side of the truth and the law, and wish to place on record that never again shall the PDP return to wallow in lawlessness and impunity.

Thank you for your attention and God bless. 13/06/16

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