2023: Wike sues Atiku and Tambuwal, demands recognition as PDP’s Presidential Candidate

August 12, 2022
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A photo combination of Governor Nyesom Wike and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has sued the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, and the Peoples Democratic Party over the conduct of the presidential primary.

In the originating summons, Wike and his co-applicant are asking the court to determine eight issues which includes whether the purported transfer of Tambuwal’s votes to Atiku by the PDP was illegal and void.

The plaintiffs are also asking the court to determine if Tambuwal lost his claim to votes the moment he stepped down for Atiku.

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 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.

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.”

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.

Power tussle

The suit comes as the PDP struggles to unite Atiku and Wike, two if its most influential members.

Atiku had won the presidential primaries with 371 votes with Wike trailing after polling 237 votes.

A discontented Wike was then passed over for the vice-presidency candidate slot, further deepening the division between both men.

Wike has accused Atiku of lying against him, although he vowed to remain in the PDP.

Meanwhile, Atiku has promised to unite the party ahead of the presidential poll next year.

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