NIGERIANS, who were baffled as to who instituted the case between Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, can now heave a sigh of relief. Cosmas Ndukwe, a former presidential aspirant PDP, has claimed ownership of the case.
Ndukwe, who was the former deputy speaker, Abia State House of Assembly, whose name didn’t appear in the suit, confirmed to Sunday Vanguard, in an interview that he instituted the case.
Prior to Ndukwe’s admittance, Wike had on Friday denied instituting any case to court against the party. Also Chieftains of the PDP including Iyorcha Ayu, its national chairman and Jerry Gana, former minister of information, had issued statements absolving Wike from the court case quagmire.
However, Ndukwe said: “That suit they are saying Wike went to court is my suit. Wike did not go to any court. It’s I that went to court because PDP violated its constitution. The matter is now at the Supreme Court. The court processes were served on the necessary parties on Thursday. That’s why they thought it was Wike”.
He said he thought PDP had learnt its lessons on the consequences of impunity but regretted that the party still violated its constitution because of vested interest of some people.
The alleged plaintiff, who is also a former general manager, Abia State Environmental Protection Agency, ASEPA, vowed that the party should not be allowed to get away with the gross violation of its constitution.
He argued that nobody compelled PDP to factor in zoning in its constitution, and insisted that the party must be made to obey its constitution not minding who it favoured.
“We decided to move to the Supreme Court. The apex court will hear the matter and decide within 45 days”, he stated.
“I am very optimistic that the Supreme Court will give its judgment based on equity and justice. It is a constitutional matter and nobody will violate the constitution and be allowed to go free.
“How can PDP not obey the constitution it made for itself? Now they are claiming they are operating the Nigerian constitution that allows for freedom of association. But the question is: was the party forced to make its constitution that recognised zoning?
“You know there is Nigerian Constitution that allows for freedom of association and you decided to make your constitution which of course is binding on you.
“PDP agreed on zoning even when other parties were not interested in it, and the party has always respected it. You said zoning is for fairness and equity, so, why is it at this point that PDP wants to throw away zoning?
“The party used the same zoning in selecting its hierarchy but when it came to presidential candidates it jettisoned zoning.
“Now, every serious position in PDP is occupied by northerners. The North has the presidential candidate, National Chairman, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Where is South in all these? The South, especially South East, is totally out of the game.
“Atiku is even thinking of picking his Campaign Director General from the West. So, where is South-East in PDP which the zone invested so much to form and incubated?”
Realnews reports that in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/782/2022, listed Wike and Newgent Ekamon, a chieftain of the PDP, as plaintiffs while the originating summons, had PDP as the first defendants and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as the second. Tambuwal and Atiku were listed as the third and fourth defendants, respectively.
Ekamon want the court to determine eight points including whether the transfer of Tambuwal’s votes to Atiku in the primary was illegal and void.
According to him, he took Atiku and PDP to court for gross violation of the party’s constitution on zoning. Over the years, he said that the PDP enshrined zoning in its constitution to ensure equity and justice but expressed shock that the party for no justifiable reasons decided to jettison zoning in choosing its presidential flag bearer for 2023.
The former chief of staff to Abia State governor said he had before the primaries gone to court to challenge the refusal of the party to zone its presidential ticket to the South.
According to him,when the matter was decided in his favour at the High Court, the defendants appealed the judgement at the Court of Appeal which overturned the decision of the High Court.
The former Commissioner for Trade and Industry in Abia State said he decided to take the matter to the apex court for final determination.
He said the necessary parties were on Thursday served with the court processes, adding that it was likely that some people misunderstood it and attributed it to Wike.