…dismisses Markafi’s petition
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—The National Judicial Council, NJC, has cleared Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja of any wrongdoing in his verdicts relating to the leadership crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The Council, in a letter dated March 15, by its Secretary, Mr. Danladi Halilu, dismissed allegations of gross misconduct levelled against the judge by the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the party.
The legal body said it found no merit in the petition the group lodged against Justice Abang.
It will be recalled that Justice Abang had, on July 29, 2016, declared the Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee of the PDP illegal.
He held that the committee was illegal, considering that it was a product of a convention of a faction of the party held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on May 21, 2016, in defiance of a subsisting court order, which was made by Justice Ibrahim Buba of Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, which had stopped the said convention from holding.
Justice Abang went ahead and accorded recognition to the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff leadership of the party.
Dissatisfied with the decision of the court, Makarfi wrote a petition to the NJC, dated August 25, 2016, in respect of suits Nos. FHC/ABJ/CS/439/2016 and FHC/ABH/CS/464/2016.
He accused Justice Abang of assuming appellate powers by overriding the decision of another court of coordinate jurisdiction.
After due consideration of the petition, the NJC in its letter with reference number NJC/ F.3/FHC 44/VII/55 stated: “At the end of deliberations, the council found that your petition has no merit as there was no sufficient material before the NJC to infer that the judge sat on appeal over the decision of his brother judge of coordinate jurisdiction.
“The appeal, therefore, lacked merit and is subsequently dismissed.”