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Supreme court dismisses suit seeking to compel PDP to zone presidential ticket to south-east

Supreme court dismisses suit seeking to compel PDP to zone presidential ticket to south-east
September 23
11:55 2022

The supreme court has struck out a suit seeking to compel the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to zone its ticket for the 2023 presidential election to the south-east.

Cosmas Ndukwe, former deputy speaker of the Abia state house of assembly, had approached a federal high court in Abuja seeking to stop the party’s presidential primary election scheduled for May 28.

Ndukwe had filed an ex parte motion marked FHC/ABJ/CS/508/2022 through his lawyer, Paul Erokoro, on April 28.

He had prayed the court to stop the PDP presidential primary election because the party did not zone its ticket to the south-east.

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He claimed that the party had put in place a system that permitted the rotation of elective offices.

According to that system, he argued that the next president should come from the southern region of the nation, particularly the south-east geopolitical zone.

The trial court, however, declined the ex parte application for a restraining order against the PDP.

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Apart from the PDP, other defendants in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/508/2022, were Iyorchia Ayu, PDP national chairman; Samuel Anyanwu, chairman of its primary election planning committee/national secretary, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Meanwhile, before the trial court could determine the suit on its merit, the PDP and its chairman, through their lawyer, Aliyu M. Aliyu, took the case to the court of appeal challenging the jurisdiction of the trial court to hear the matter.

The suit before the trial court was then adjourned indefinitely pending the outcome of the appeal.

The matter was still pending, when the PDP held its primary election that produced Atiku Abubakar as its standard-bearer for the 2023 presidential election.

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Following the dismissal of the suit by the Abuja division of the court of appeal, Ndukwe, took the matter before the supreme court.

In a unanimous judgment delivered on Friday, a five-member panel of the apex court, dismissed the appeal for want of jurisdiction.

The court, in its lead judgment read by Adamu Jauro, held that the issue of nomination of candidates for any election, is within the domestic affairs of political parties.

It held that no court is allowed to meddle in the internal affairs of a political party, except where such a party is found to have acted in breach of the constitution.

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