The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a suit which sought to compel the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to zone its presidential ticket to the South-East.
A PDP presidential aspirant, Cosmos Ndukwe, filed the suit in April to challenge the party’s decision to throw open its presidential ticket to all the six geopolitical zones in the country.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar emerged the party’s presidential candidate on May 28 after defeating 11 other aspirants in the primary election held at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
The PDP, the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, the Presidential Primary Election Planning Committee and the National Secretary, Samuel Anyanwu and others were listed as respondents in the suit.
In the application, Ndukwe urged the court to compel the PDP to uphold its zoning policy and allow the South- East to produce the presidential candidate.
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Justice Donatus Okorowo of a Federal High Court, Abuja, on April 28 refused to grant the ex-parte motion seeking to stop the planned primary election in a suit filed by the plaintiff’s lawyer, Paul Erokoro (SAN).
Instead, the judge ordered the PDP and the other respondents to appear before the court on May 5 to show cause on why the primary election should not be stopped because of the pending suit by Ndukwe.
Dissatisfied with order, the party approached the Court of Appeal in Abuja to set aside the lower court’s directive on ground of jurisdiction and competence of the suit.
In its ruling delivered on July 15, the appellate court agreed with PDP and set aside the lower court’s order.
Ndukwe later approached the Supreme Court to adjudicate in the matter.
At Friday’s hearing, the apex court dismissed the suit on the ground of jurisdiction.
Justice Adamu Jauro, who delivered the ruling, held that the suit was not justiciable because the nomination of candidates for election is an internal affair of political parties.
He invoked Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act to give a final resolution on all issues raised in the suit to prevent them from becoming statute barred.
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