PDP governors, National Assembly members, ex-ministers and others from the South at a meeting in Port Harcourt ahead of the contentious August 17 convention zoned the post to the Southwest.
Also out of the race is Uche Secondus, former acting national chairman, who is from Rivers State.
Dokpesi is from Edo, a state in the South South. But he has insisted on contesting.
Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, who briefed reporters at the end of the meeting, said any member willing to contest is free to do so, but he advise them to respect the zoning formula.
Sources in Dokpesi camp said he has spent too much money going on direct campaigns to about 20 states of the federation, and as such it would be wrong to knock him out of the contest.