Nyesom Wike, the Governor of Rivers State has instituted a suit against Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Aminu Tambuwal, the Sokoto State Governor asking the court to declare him (Wike), the winner of the party’s primary election.
While Wike and Newgent Ekamon are the plaintiffs in the suit, the respondents include: the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku and Tambuwal.
Recall that during the party’s primary election, Mr Tambuwal had withdrawn from the race at the last minute and urged his supporters to vote for Atiku.
What Wike is seeking from the court
In a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/782/2022, Wike and Ekamon approached the court over the conduct of the presidential primaries of PDP.
They sought among other reliefs, an order of the court compelling the PDP to recount the votes of the May 28th/ 29th primary election of the party, and an order also directing it to declare Wike as the winner of the election.
In an affidavit in support of the application, the plaintiffs argued that Wike would have emerged the winner of the primary election if Tambuwal’s votes were not transferred to Atiku.
- “The 1st (PDP) and 4th (Atiku) respondents who also wanted the votes desperately agreed with the 3rd (Tambuwal) and assigned 3rd (Tambuwal) respondent’s votes to the 4th (Atiku) respondent and increased his votes to win the 2nd applicant (Wike).
- “The 2nd applicant (Wike) won the primaries if the votes of the 3rd respondent (Tambuwal) had not been transferred or assigned to the 4th respondent (Atiku),” the affidavits read in part.
- In the originating summons, the plaintiffs brought before the court eight issues for determination.
- They sought the court to determine “Whether Tambuwal, having stepped down during the primaries ought to lose his votes”.
- They also sought among other reliefs, “A declaration that the purported transfer of Tambuwal’s votes to Atiku be declared null and void.
- “A declaration that the PDP acted negligently and in bad faith by assigning Tambuwal’s votes to Atiku at the primaries”.
- They want the court to order INEC to reject or remove Atiku from “its list of candidates in the 2023 presidential election”.
- “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”.
Consequently, they asked 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 suit is yet to be assigned to a judge for hearing.