By Enyichukwu Enemanna
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has asked the court to remove the name and details of former Nigerian Vice President, Atiku Abubakar as the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the 2023 general elections.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/782/2022, Wike and a PDP chieftain, Newgent Ekamon, are listed as the plaintiffs.
In the originating summons, the PDP is listed as the first respondent while the Independent National Electoral Commission is the 2nd respondent. Tambuwal and Atiku are listed as the 3rd and 4th respondents respectively
The plaintiffs faulted the primary election of the PDP which produced Atiku as candidate, questioning the purported transfer of Tambuwal’s vote to Atiku which eventually gave him victory at the primary election.
During the PDP presidential primary, when aspirants were asked to address delegates, Tambuwal had asked them to vote for him only to return moments later to ask them to vote for Atiku.
Wike who polled a total number of 237 votes to come a distant second to Atiku who scored 371 is seeking the court order directing the PDP to recount the votes of the primary that was held on May 28 and May 29.
He also seeking an order “directing the 1st respondent (PDP) to declare the 2nd applicant (Wike), a presidential aspirant in the May 28 and May 29 primary as the winner of the aforesaid primary with a corresponding order directing the 1st respondent (PDP) to forward his name as the candidate to contest the presidential election in 2023” a document sighted by own correspondent indicates.
The plaintiffs asking the court to determine if Tambuwal lost his claim to votes the moment he stepped down for Atiku.
They argued that should these issues be determined in their favour, the court should grant nine reliefs including a declaration that the purported transfer of Tambuwal’s votes to Atiku be declared null and void.
The plaintiffs are also seeking a declaration that the PDP acted negligently and in bad faith by assigning the Sokoto governor’s votes to Atiku at the primary.
They are praying the court to cancel the transfer of votes and a corresponding order restraining the 3rd respondent (Tambuwal’s) withdrawal in the primary was done after voting had commenced.”
The applicants also prayed the court to declare that the PDP and Atiku took undue advantage of Tambuwal’s withdrawal when they allowed the Sokoto governor to persuade delegates to vote for the former Vice-President in the primary.
In a supporting affidavit he deposed to, Ekamon noted that he was a member of the PDP and attested to the fact that Wike won the presidential election.
He maintained that Tambuwal withdrew from the contest after voting had commenced and directed that his votes be assigned to Atiku.