2023 Presidency: PDP, Atiku dragged to court over zoning



By Chimezie Godfrey

A member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has dragged the party and presidential aspirant, Atiku Abubakar to a Federal High Court in Abuja over issue of zoning in the forthcoming 2023 elections.

The complainant, a senior citizen from Kaduna North, Isa Taidi, pointed out that Chapter 1, Part 7 (3 C) of the   PDP Constitution 2017 (As Amended) states that , the Party shall adhere to the policy of the rotation and zoning of party and public elective offices in pursuance of the principle of equity, justice and fairness.

He added that Chapter 1, Part 7 (3 C) of the   PDP Constitution 2017 (As Amended) recognizes Zoning of public offices.
 
Taidi who asked the court to interpret the above sections of the PDP constitution, stressed that they imply that the 2023 Presidential Primary Election of the PDP should be zoned, and that the party should adhere to its constitution, among others.

He therefore urged the court to compel the PDP to the zone the its Presidential Election primary to the South having Zoned it to the North in the 2019 Elections.

He also asked the court to restrain Atiku from participating in the PDP Presidential Primaries for the 2023 Presidential Election having earlier contested as a Candidate from the North in 2019.

The summon reads in part:”Let the 1.    PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY of Plot 1970 Michael Okpara Street, Wadata Plaza, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja. ;  2. ALH ATIKU ABUBAKAR  of 61 Ebitu Ukiwe Street,  Jabi, Abuja  within  FORTY TWO  (42) days after the service of this summons, inclusive of the day of such service cause an appearance to be entered for him to this summons which is issued upon the application of the Claimant C/O of his Counsel ,Ugochukwu Osuagwu of Suit A33 Abraham Plaza Ekukinam street Utako Abuja, who claims to be entitled to the reliefs hereafter set out and for the determination of the following questions:


 
“Questions for Determination;
 1. Whether by a true interpretation and construction of Chapter 1, Part 7 (3 C) of the   PDP CONSTITUTION 2017 (AS AMENDED) which states The Party shall pursue these aims and objectives: “adhering to the policy of the rotation and zoning of Party and Public elective offices in pursuance of the principle of equity, justice and fairness” the 2023 Presidential Primary Election of the PDP should not be zoned?
 
“2.   Whether Chapter 1, Part 7 (3 C) of the   PDP CONSTITUTION 2017 (AS AMENDED) recognizes Zoning of public offices viz: Presidential Election office?


 
“The Plaintiff claims against the Defendant as follows: (1) A DECLARATION that Chapter 1, Part 7 (3 C) of the   PDP CONSTITUTION 2017 (AS AMENDED) which states The Party shall pursue these aims and objectives: “adhering to the policy of the rotation and zoning of Party and Public elective offices in pursuance of the principle of equity, justice and fairness” makes it mandatory for the PDP to Zone its public offices position including the Presidential Election of 2023.
 
“(2) A DECLARATION that Chapter 1, Part 7 (3 C) of the   PDP CONSTITUTION 2017 (AS AMENDED) recognizes Zoning of public offices viz: Presidential Election office?

“(3) An ORDER of this Honourable Court the 1st Defendant should zone its Presidential Election primary to the South having Zone it to the North in the 2019 Elections.

“(4) An ORDER nullifying the REPORT of the Zoning Committee of the 1st Defendant which recommended that the Presidential Primaries of the Party should not be zoned.

“(5) AN ORDER restraining the 2nd DEFENDANT who from participating in the PDP Presidential Primaries for the 2023 Presidential Election having earlier contested as a Candidate from the North in 2019.

“(6) Any further order (s) as the Court may deem fit and proper to make in the circumstances of this case.”