As the Supreme Court decides the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leadership crisis today, party chieftains were, yesterday, locked in marathon meetings.

The leadership crisis has been between National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee,  Senator Ahmed Makarfi, since May 21, last year.

Makarfi and Sheriff are laying claim to the national chairmanship position of the party in a manner that has defied political resolution.

When Daily Sun visited the PDP National Secretariat yesterday, some of the staff were seen discussing the likely out come of the judgment in hushed tones.

PDP chieftains in both camps were engaged in marathon meetings at different locations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT),  Abuja,  for the greater part of yesterday,  to possibly strategise on their next action after today’s judgment.

It was also gathered that another meeting held last night when a sizeable number of PDP governors arrived Abuja.

Members of the House of Representatives also met over today’s judgment.

A member loyal to Sheriff’s camp, Ehiozuwa Agbonnayinma confirmed to Daily Sun that there had been several meetings but said such meetings were normal and added that justice will be done at the end of the day.

When contacted,  acting National Publicity Secretary of the party,  Bernard Mikko, said anxiety is a normal human phenomenon.

Efforts to get the reaction of the spokesman of the caretaker committee,  Prince Dayo Adeyeye, were unsuccessful as his telephone was switched off.  However,  National Legal Adviser of the caretaker committee,  Mr Dave Iorhemba, said he is convinced that based on the way the appeal was argued at the apex court, they will get justice.

The task before the apex court, this morning, in what has appeared to be a make or mar judgment, is to decide who among the combatants is the authentic national chairman of the party.

Although, the court had begun its annual vacation on Monday, Daily Sun learnt that its leadership has resolved to give judgment in the case so as to ease tension in the party.

The legal dispute has traversed from the Federal High Court in Abuja and Port Harcourt where there were conflicting judgments between an Abuja Division of the Federal High Court and the Port Harcourt Division.

Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal, had, in its judgment, validated the Sheriff faction as the authentic and recognised faction.

However, not satisfied, Makarfi’s faction approached the Supreme Court seeking to upturn the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

A five-man panel of Justices of the apex court, headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen reserved judgment after striking out an application which sought to abort hearing on the appeal lodged by the Markafi-led committee.

The appeal is challenging the February 7 verdict of the Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal which declared Senate Ali-Modu Sheriff as the authentic national chairman of the party.

The appellants are praying the apex court to set-aside the judgment and handover the leadership of the party to the Markafi-led National Caretaker Committee.

Meanwhile, Sheriff and his group failed to persuade the apex court not to hear the appeal. The panel, in a ruling that was delivered by the CJN, granted the Markafi-led faction leave to challenge the Appeal Court verdict which recognised Sheriff as leader of the party.

The CJN held that under section 27 of Supreme Court Rules, the appellants have a period of three months to appeal against the judgment.

The apex court held that the notice of appeal was properly filed in April, even as it deemed all the processes by the appellants as duly filed and served.

Whereas the Makarfi faction, through their counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), prayed the apex court to allow the appeal and set-aside the appellate court judgment, the Sheriff faction prayed the court to uphold the judgment of the court of appeal.

The Sheriff-led group, through their counsel, Chief Akin Olujinmi, SAN, challenged the competence of the appeal which they said deserved to be struck out with substantial cost.

Likewise, the PDP under Sheriff, through its counsel, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), urged the apex court to dismiss or strike out the appeal on the premise that the appellants did not obtain the necessary authorisation of the party to file an appeal in its name.

The group, which identified itself to the Supreme Court as PDP’s National Executive Committee (NEC), with Sheriff as chairman and Prof. Wale Oladipo as secretary, maintained that the Makarfi-led Committee, having been declared illegal by the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, lacked the powers to take decisions for the party, including initiating court proceedings in its name.

They maintained that the suit should either be dismissed or struck out since the supposed appellants (Makarfi’s PDP) neither obtained leave of the Court of Appeal nor that of the Supreme Court before filing the appeal which is based on mixed law and facts.

In a counter argument, the Makarfi Committee, urged the court not to allow the respondents to frustrate hearing of the case on its merit.

The appellants argued that since the appeal was not filed by Sheriff and others, they lacked the right to apply to withdraw it.

After listening to all the parties, the apex court panel said it would communicate the judgment date to all the parties.

When Daily Sun visited the PDP National Secretariat yesterday, some of the staff were seen discussing the likely out come of the judgment in hushed tones.

PDP chieftains in both camps were engaged in marathon meetings at different locations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT),  Abuja,  for the greater part of yesterday,  to possibly strategise on their next action after today’s judgment.

It was also gathered that another meeting held last night when a sizeable number of PDP governors arrived Abuja.

Members of the House of Representatives also met over today’s judgment.

A member loyal to Sheriff’s camp, Ehiozuwa Agbonnayinma confirmed to Daily Sun that there had been several meetings but said such meetings were normal and added that justice will be done at the end of the day.

When contacted,  acting National Publicity Secretary of the party,  Bernard Mikko, said anxiety is a normal human phenomenon.

Efforts to get the reaction of the spokesman of the caretaker committee,  Prince Dayo Adeyeye, were unsuccessful as his telephone was switched off .

However,  National Legal Adviser of the caretaker committee,  Mr Dave Iorhemba, said he is convinced that based on the way the appeal was argued at the apex court, they will get justice.