Dr. Cosmos Ndukwe, a former candidate for president on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform, has asserted that he is the real plaintiff in the lawsuit against Atiku Abubakar, the party’s vice presidential nominee, and not Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers State.
Anaedoonline.ng had previously reported that a lawsuit with the case number FHC/ABJ/CS/782/2022 had been filed against the PDP presidential candidate, Aminu Tambuwal, the governor of Sokoto State, and the PDP regarding the way the party’s presidential primary was conducted, which took place in Abuja on May 28 and May 29, 2022. The lawsuit was allegedly instituted by Wike and a man named Newgent Ekamon.
Ekamon sought the court to rule on eight issues, including whether it was improper and invalid to give Tambuwal’s primary votes to Atiku.
Through his media assistant Kelvin Ebiri, Wike issued a statement on Friday distancing himself from the matter and accusing Atiku supporters of starting the legal proceedings.
“People have called me throughout this morning and said all kinds of things that I went to court against Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. I want to say categorically, if I have a reason to go to court, I will go to court, but I didn’t go to court,” he had said.
“Yesterday too, they said I removed all PDP flags at Rivers State Government House. But I just have to say these things for Nigerians to know that I have kept quiet, and I’m busy delivering dividends of democracy for my party to win election in Rivers State.
“But I want to tell the candidate; it is the candidate’s group that are doing all these things. Let the world hear, they are the ones plotting all these things, thinking that they will spoil my name; they cannot.”
Ndukwe, a former deputy speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, alleged in an interview with Newsmen that he had planned to sue Atiku and the PDP for flagrantly violating the party’s zoning policy.
Ndukwe asserted that the PDP had over time institutionalized zoning in its constitution and adhered to the same for equality and justice, despite the fact that his name did not appear in the lawsuit.
He expressed disbelief that the party had abandoned zoning in choosing its presidential candidate for 2023 for no discernible reason.
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.”
The PDP, according to Ndukwe, a former general manager of the Abia State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA), had not learnt its lesson about the negative effects of impunity, and the party continued to violate its constitution due to personal interests of some individuals.
He emphasized that the PDP must abide by it and said that no one pushed the main opposition party to include zoning in its constitution.
Ndukwe said: “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?”
He claimed that while the party retained zoning while choosing its hierarchy, it abandoned it when choosing its presidential contenders.
Ndukwe asserted that the PDP’s presidential candidate, national chairman, and board of trustees chairman are all from the North, and that the South East is completely out of the running.
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