Home » Goodluck Jonathan (2010-present), Presidency, Raw Politics » Zoning: Court Decides Jonathan, Atiku’s Fate Monday

Zoning: Court Decides Jonathan, Atiku’s Fate Monday

Justice Isha Bello of an Abuja High Court yesterday set aside Monday  to rule on a suit brought before him to bar President Goodluck Jonathan from contesting the presidential election on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Ambassador Yahaya Kwande, Hon. Dubem Onyia and Alhaji Lawal Kaita, all card-carrying members of the PDP who are believed to be associates of the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, had in their suit asked the court to restrain PDP and its National Chairman, Chief Okwesileze Nwodo from presenting Goodluck Jonathan as their candidate for the April presidential election.

The PDP, its chairman, the president and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were named as the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th defendants respectively by the plaintiffs.

The court which sat for over four hours on the matter heard both the preliminary objections moved by the defendants and the substantive matter itself yesterday.

Counsel to the PDP, Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama (SAN), told the court in his objection to the suit that the plaintiffs lacked the requisite legal standing to institute or sustain the action in law, adding that there was no reasonable cause to take the action against the party.

Gadzama asked the court to dismiss the suit or strike it out.

, said for a person to have locus standi, he has to show special interest. He maintained that the plaintiffs are not presidential aspirants and that the interests they are seeking to protect are akin to interests of other Nigerians.

The claim before the court, according to the lawyers representing PDP is an invitation to delve into PDP affairs, by choosing the party’s presidential candidate for it. “The matter is a political one which is an internal affair that falls within the sole proligative or exclusive presence of the party to decide who its candidate should be,” he said.

Chief Olusola Oke, counsel to the PDP National Chairman, argued in his objections to the plaintiff suit that by reason of judgment delivered by Justice Lawal Gumi on Alhaji Sani Dutsinma’s suit, the plaintiffs are foreclosed from instituting any the matter.

“There shall be an end to litigation since a person shall not be vexed twice over the same complaint,” Chief Oke said.

The plaintiffs being members of the same party are bound by the judgment. In the PDP constitution, the necessary parties are the PDP and its member. What they are seeking to do is to achieve what they were unable to achieve in the earlier case; Chief Oke averred.

Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), lawyer representing President Goodluck Jonathan who said he aligned himself to the submission of the 1st and 2nd defendants added that by virtue of section 6 of the 1999 constitution, plaintiffs ought to show legal interest they wish to protect by coming to court.

I submit that this case constitute an abuse of court process and if allowed it would cause judicial anarchy because an Abuja High Court is one and same; Dr. Izinyon said.

Counsel to INEC, Miss Wemimo Aminu said the agency failed to file any process because it is PDP internal affair which they wish to come in, in any way.

Mr. Rikey Tarfa (SAN) however asked the court to discountenance the defendants’ preliminary objections to their suit.

The suit was filed before judgment was entered in Sani Dutsinma’s case, which he described as very narrow when compared to reliefs the plaintiffs are praying before the court.

The plaintiffs, Tarfa (SAN) said are simply asking the court to interpret section 7(2)(c) of the PDP constitution based on the interpretation of some provisions of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria.

However, Chief Oke submitted that section 7(2)(c) do not specifically states that office of the president be zoned. Barring president Jonathan from contesting would simply violate sections 40,42,43,131,137 of the federal Republic of Nigeria.


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Posted by on Jan 7 2011. Filed under Goodluck Jonathan (2010-present), Presidency, Raw Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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