By Etop Ekanem
The zoning crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State has taken a new dimension as a governorship aspirant on the party’s platform, Ndubisi Ogah, has dragged the party and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to a Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia, the Abia State Capital to seek redress over the issue.
It would be recalled that Professor Uche Ikonne from Abia Central senatorial zone was elected as the candidate of the PDP for the 2023 governorship election in Abia. But Ogah is insisting that under a zoning arrangement called Abia Charter of Equity, it is the turn of Abia North senatorial district to produce the govenor in 2023.
Ogah in a motion exparte suit no FHC/UM /CS/63/2022 filed by his lawyer, P. C. Dike, is seeking an order from the court to restrain PDP and INEC from fielding governorship candidate for 2023 election from Abia Central or any other senatorial zone apart from Abia North senatorial zone.
Listed as defendants/respondents in the case are PDP, National chairman of PDP, Senator Iyorvhia Ayu; INEC, zonal chairman of PDP in Southeast geopolitical zone, Chief Ali Odefa, State Chairman of PDP in Abia State, Asiforo Okere.
Others are Governor Okezie Ikpeazul a governorship aspirant on the platform of PDP in Abia State Professor Uche Ikonne, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Senator Adolphous Nwabara and Chief Onyema Ugochukwu.
In the motion, Oga is asking the court to grant him an order of interim injunction restraining the 1st -5th defendants/respondents by themselves, their servants, agents or privies or by any person however connected or related to them from taking any step or steps to field a governorship candidate for the 2023 governorship election from Abia Central or to enforce the zoning of Abia State Governorship slot to Abia Central or another senatorial zone apart from Abia North,
He is also asking the court to grant him an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants/respondents by themselves, its servants, agents or privies from adopting Professor Uche Ikonne as the preferred governorship candidate of PDP in governorship election in Abia State and to compel the party to nominate its governorship candidate from Abia North senatorial district to substitute Professor Ikonne.