A former presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Cosmos Ndukwe, has claimed that he is behind the suit challenging the presidential candidate of the party, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, and not the governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike.
Controversial Case And Denial
Naija News had earlier reported that a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/782/2022, allegedly instituted by Wike and one Newgent Ekamon, had been filed against the PDP presidential candidate; Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal; and the PDP over the conduct of the presidential primary of the party which was held in Abuja on May 28 and May 29, 2022.
Ekamon asked the court to determine eight points, including whether transferring Tambuwal’s votes to Atiku in the primary was illegal and void.
Distancing himself from the case in a statement on Friday through his media aide, Kelvin Ebiri, Wike had accused Atiku loyalists of initiating the court case.
“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.”
Mystery Man Revealed
Speaking to Vanguard, a former Deputy Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly, Ndukwe, claimed that he decided to take Atiku and PDP to court for gross violation of the party’s constitution on zoning.
Although his name did not appear in the suit, Ndukwe claimed that the PDP had over the years enshrined zoning in its constitution and observed the same for equity and justice.
He expressed shock that the party, for no justifiable reasons, decided to jettison zoning in choosing its presidential flag bearer for 2023.
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.”
Obeying PDP Constitution
Ndukwe, also a former General Manager, Abia State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA), said the PDP had not learned its lessons on the consequences of impunity, adding that the party still violated its constitution because of the vested interest of some people.
According to him, no one forced the main opposition party to factor zoning into its constitution, stressing that the PDP must adhere to it.
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?”
North vs South
He stated that the party used the same zoning in selecting its hierarchy, but when it came to presidential candidates, it jettisoned zoning.
Ndukwe said the North has the presidential candidate, National Chairman, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP, adding that the South East is totally out of the game.