Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has sued the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar; as well as his Sokoto State counterpart, Aminu Tambuwal, over the presidential primary party of the party held late May.
Wike and a PDP chieftain, Newgent Ekamon, are listed as the plaintiffs in the subpoena marked FHC/ABJ/CS/782/2022.
PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission are listed as the first and second respondents in the originating summons, while Tambuwal and Atiku are listed as the 3rd and 4th respondents respectively.
Tambuwal during the presidential primary had stepped down and asked his supporters to vote for Atiku.
Atiku won the PDP ticket with 371 votes at the primary, whilst his fellow contenders; Wike and former Senate President Bukola Saraki garnered 237 and 70 votes respectively.
After the convention, PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, had described Tambuwal as the “hero of the convention.”
Wike and his co-applicant in the originating summons prayed the court to examine eight issues, including if the purported transfer of Tambuwal’s votes to Atiku by the PDP was illegal and void.
The complainants also ask the court to determine if Tambuwal “having stepped down during the primaries ought to lose his votes.”
Wike and Ekamon 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 prayed 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.
Wike and Ekamon asked the court to order INEC to reject or remove Atiku from “its list of candidates in the 2023 presidential election.”
They are also seeking an order commanding the PDP to recount the votes of the primary that was held on May 28 and May 29.
Lastly, the applicants are seeking an order of the court “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.”
When contacted on the telephone, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, said he was unaware of the case and thus could not comment on it.
Also, Atiku’s Spokesman, Paul Ibe, said his principal had not yet been served and thus could not comment on the matter.