A member of the NWC told one of our correspondents on Wednesday that his colleagues would meet on Thursday (today) to finalise discussions on the primaries.
The presidential primaries, it was learnt, are to run for three days, starting from January 11 to 13 in the six geo-political zones of the country.
The convention will start in the North-Central and South East on January 11. It will hold in the North-West and South-South on January 12 and in the North-East and South-West on January 13.
Results from the six zones will to be ratified at the national convention in Abuja on January 15.
It was learnt that the NWC decided to hold the national convention on January 15 in order to prevent aggrieved aspirants from defecting to other political parties.
January 15 is the last date set by the Independent National Electoral Commission for political parties to hold their primaries.
Our source said, “The presidential primaries are to be held between January 11 and 13. We will then return to Abuja for the ratification of the primaries on January 15, which is the last day stipulated by INEC for political parties to hold their party primaries.
“With that, I can tell you that we will be blocking the chances of those who might be thinking that they would leave the party after losing the contest.”
Meanwhile, an Abuja High Court on Wednesday struck out a suit asking it to order the PDP to field a presidential candidate from the North for the 2011 poll.
In his judgment, Justice Lawal Gummi, who is the FCT Chief judge, said that the issue of zoning, rotation or who to sponsor in the PDP was “purely a domestic and political affair.”
“The court will not venture or adjudicate on such matters as to order a party to field a candidate from a particular zone for the purpose of contesting,” Gummi said.
A PDP presidential aspirant, Alhaji Sani Dutsinma, sued the party and its National Chairman, Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo, over alleged breach of party constitution on zoning and rotation of political offices.
He also challenged the alleged non-adherence to the provisions of Article 7.2 (c) of the PDP constitution which provided for the principle of rotation and zoning of elective offices across the federation.
The plaintiff also wanted the court to compel the PDP to zone the Presidency to the North, insisting that the North was entitled to another term in office.
But the judge said: “While acknowledging the provisions in the said article 7.2 (c) that the party has agreed to zone its political offices, it did not state where the candidate must come from and did not state the period upon which such a person should hold office.
“A court of law is not a political party regulatory commission. We are here to protect and ensure that politicians are protected from themselves.”
“We will not interfere in the domestic affairs of political parties,” the judge said.
On wether the plaintiff had a locus standi to file such a suit, Gummi ruled that he had a right to do so since he was a duly registered member of the PDP.
The judge said, “The plaintiff has been able to prove that he is a member of the PDP and has met all financial obligations as required by the party.
“He has also shown that he is contesting for the office of the President with the receipt from payment of the required fees and a copy of the form filled by him.”
In a related development, another member of the PDP, Chief Cyracus Njoku, has asked for the withdrawal of his suit challenging the non implementation of zoning and rotation of political offices.
Njoku also sued President Goodluck Jonathan, and Nwodo over alleged breach of party constitution on zoning and rotation.
In the matter which also came up before Justice Gummi, Njoku through his counsel, Mr Ugochukwu Osuagwu, asked the court to strike out the matter.
Although no reason was given for the prayer, Osuagwu told the court that his client had decided to withdraw the suit.
Justice Gummi then struck out the matter.
Speaking to newsmen after the judgment, Counsel to PDP, Chief Olusola Oke (SAN), said, “We said it before and insist that this matter is purely an internal affair of the party.‘‘
Counsel to Jonathan, Chief Alex Iziyon (SAN), also commended the judiciary for “putting to rest the controversies on the matter.”
“The issue of who takes the slot for any political office is purely left for the parties,” Iziyon said.