Late service of Court papers stalls hearing in suit against PDP’s zoning


By Kenneth Atavti

Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday shifted till May 10, 2022 hearing in a suit seeking to stop the planned May 28, 2022 Presidential Primary Election of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The Judge put off determination of the case following complaints by counsel to the plaintiff, Paul Erokoro, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN to the effect that an affidavit by PDP showing cause on why the primary should not be stopped was served on him late on Wednesday.

Although the suit was slated for hearing yesterday, Erokoro told Justice Okorowo that he needed time to respond to the reasons adduced by PDP against the suit of his client.

He pleaded with the Judge to give him time by way of adjournment to enable him put his house in order.

Counsel to PDP, Mahmud Magaji SAN did not object to the request for adjournment.

Justice Okorowo subsequently shifted the hearing till May 10, 2022 and ordered parties to file and exchange their processes ahead of the day.

A presidential aspirant and former Deputy Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, Cosmas Ndukwe, had on April 28 brought an ex-parte application for an order of injunction restraining the PDP from proceeding with its scheduled primary election pending the hearing and determination of his suit challenging the position of the party on the issue of zoning the party’s presidential ticket.

Defendants in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/508/2022 are PDP, its National Chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, Senator Samuel Anyanwu and the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) as 1st to 4th respectively.

However, rather than granting the request of Ndukwe, the judge ordered that the PDP should appear before it on May 5 and show cause why the court should not accede to the plaintiff’s demand.

At yesterday’s proceedings, Paul Erokoro SAN stood for Ndukwe, Mahmud Magaji SAN for PDP, Kalu Agu for Anyanwu and Abdulahi Badmos for INEC respectively.