AKS 2015 Governorship: Abuja Court Throws Out Case Against Zoning

By Essien Ndueso

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Tuesday struck out a suit seeking to declare the zoning policy of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State as unconstitutional.

The court presided over by Justice A. S. Umar, in a ruling declined jurisdiction on the ground that his court lacked the territorial integrity to hear the case.

The judge's ruling was on the preliminary objection by the party against the suitLeo Ekpenyong vs PDP marked: CV/1471/2014, filed by a lawyer and a Leo Ekpenyong.

Justice Umar upheld the argument by the respondent that the suit ought to be instituted in Akwa-Ibom and not Abuja.

Leo Ekpenyong was also accused of not exploring internal reconciliation within the Party.

According to the ruling, there was no evidence that Leo who claimed he to be an intended aspirant would be affected by the Zoning .

“The Akwa-Ibom branch did not create the policy, it was a creation of the national PDP, which its state branches have adopted,” stated.

The plaintiff had contended in the suit that the policy contained in the PDP's constitution is not only discriminatory but negates the constitutional provision for the right of every citizen to contest election without being discriminated against regardless of his place of birth.

He stated, in a supporting affidavit, that the suit was informed by a recent publication by the Akwa-Ibom chapter of the party, in The Nation Newspaper of April 24, 2014 (at pages 59 and 60) indicating that it has zoned the governorship position to Eket Senatorial District of the state.

Ekpenyong said he is a member of the PDP, an indigene of Akwa-Ibom State, from Etinan Local Government, in Uyo Senatorial District.

He contended that the party, by the publication, which it said formed the communiqué from its state's Executive Committee meeting of April 22 was determined to discriminate against him and frustrate him in his aspiration for the governorship position.