By Wahab Akanji, Abuja
There is confusion as a Federal High Court in Abuja stopped the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party from going ahead with its plan to conduct the national convention of the party slated for Thursday.
Justice Okon Abang ruled during the proceedings that lasted eight hours on Monday that the interim order would subsist till the motion filed by the Ali Modu Sheriff-led faction seeking an interlocutory injunction against the convention is heard and determined.
The judge fixed Tuesday for the hearing of the Sherif factionâ€™s motion for interlocutory injunction.
The judge made the order after joining Makarfi and six other members of his caretaker committee as parties to the substantive suit which was filed last month by the Sheriff and members of his faction.
The judge had on July 28 heard Markafi-led factionâ€™s application to join the suit as a defendant and fixed Monday for ruling.
â€ŽThe judge overruled Sheriffâ€™s factionâ€™s opposition to the application and ordered that Markafi and the rest of the applicants be joined as the third to the ninth defendants.
Apart from Makarfi who was joined as the third defendant, others comprising, Ben Obi, Odion Ugbesia, Abdul Ningi, Kabiru Usman, Dayo Adeyeye, Aisha Aliyu, were joined as the fourth to the ninth defendants.
Justice Abang in granting the interim injunction on Monday lambasted Ben Obi for allegedly rushing to the Port Harcourt Division of the Federal High Court to obtain an ex parte order directing security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission to monitor the scheduled convention.
The judge described as a slap on the courtâ€™s face the act of Obi by â€œsecretlyâ€ obtaining another order at Port Hacourt to let the convention to go ahead when the ruling of the court on the application filed by him and others seeking to be joined in the suit as parties was being awaited.
Justice Abang said the order obtained by Obi from Port Harcourt was obtained to neutralise the proceedings of the court.
He ruled, â€œSenator Ben Obi cannot treat the court with levity.
â€œWhat is the reason for rushing to another court when the court is already seized of this matter?
He also described Obiâ€™s action as â€œunfortunate and unlawfulâ€.
He added, â€œI want to point out that a court of coordinate jurisdiction cannot make an order that will neutralise the proceedings of this court.
â€œThe Port Harcourt Division of this court cannot make an order to neutralise the proceedings of this court.
He said he was therefore inclined to granting the interim order suspending the convention in exercise of his â€œdisciplinary jurisdictionâ€ in order to maintain the integrity of the court.
The hearing of Sheriffâ€™s motion was adjourned till Tuesday.