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PDP crisis: Justice Okon Abang, others under investigation

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The chief justice of Nigeria Mahmud Mohammed has said that all judges involved in the crisis rocking the leadership of the Peoples Democratic party are under investigation – Mohammed said these judges would be sanctioned for giving different ruling in various application filed by the two factions of the party

Some judges of the Federal High court in Nigeria are currently under investigation, the chief justice of the Nigeria, Mahmud Mohammed has said.

The judges under investigation are those who are said to have been the originators of the crisis rocking the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Mohammed said these judges would be sanctioned for giving different ruling in various application filed by the two factions of the party before various divisions of the Federal High Court of Nigeria.

The judges include: Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja and Justice M. Liman and Justice Ibrahim Watila of the Port Harcourt division of the court. But speaking during swearing in of newly appointed senior advocates of Nigeria, the chief justice of Nigeria said the NJC would investigate the different ruling given by the two judges.
The Port Harcourt division through Justice Liman had in its order sacked the national chairman of the PDP, Ali Modu-Sheriff. The court held that the appointment of the caretaker committee led by Makarfi is valid.

But Justice Okon Abang had in a ruling nullified the order given by the former court, he also held that the convention planned by the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the party must not hold. Abang in his ruling said Makarfi was illegally elected and so rendered his appointment invalid.

However, the Port Harcourt division of the Federal High Court in another verdict by Justice Ibrahim Watila countered Abang’s ruling, the court ordered that the Makarfi-led convention must hold. During the crisis, the electoral body, Independent National Electoral Commission said it was confused on which court order to follow.

The commission said it was torn between different courts that had given conflicting directives for its monitoring of the PDP convention. But speaking today, September 19, in Abuja, the chief justice of Nigeria said disciplinary actions will be taken against the judges for the crisis they caused.

Mohammed said: “Let me say before the court stands that the case of courts of coordinate jurisdiction giving conflicting judgements will be addressed.” “All the judges involved are being investigated and action will be taken accordingly,” the chief justice said.

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