Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers State, has filed a lawsuit against Atiku Abubakar, the governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, and the Peoples Democratic Party over the way the presidential primary was handled.
Wike and his co-applicant are asking the court to rule on eight matters, including whether the PDP’s alleged transfer of Tambuwal’s votes to Atiku was invalid and unconstitutional.
The suit comes as the PDP struggles to unite Atiku and Wike, two of its most influential members.
The plaintiffs also requested that the court decide if Tambuwal lost his right to vote when he resigned in favour of Atiku.
If these disputes are resolved in their favour, Wike and Ekamon claimed, the court should give nine reliefs, including a ruling that the supposed transfer of Tambuwal’s votes to Atiku is unlawful.
The plaintiffs also ask for a ruling that the PDP committed negligence and bad faith by giving Atiku the votes cast by the governor of Sokoto in the primaries.
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 further requested that the court rule that the PDP and Atiku abused the situation created by Tambuwal’s withdrawal by allowing the governor of Sokoto to influence delegates to support the former Vice-President in the primary.
Wike and Ekamon requested that the court order INEC to strike Atiku’s name off “its list of candidates in the 2023 presidential election” or to reject him outright.
Additionally, they are asking for a court order directing the PDP to recount the votes from the May 28 and May 29 primaries.
The applicants also ask the court to issue 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.”
Ekamon mentioned his membership in the PDP and attested to Wike’s victory in the presidential election in a supporting document to which he gave his deposition.
He maintained that Tambuwal withdrew from the race after voting had begun and instructed that his supporters cast their ballots for Atiku.
With 371 votes, Atiku defeated Wike in the presidential primary, leaving Wike in second place with 237 votes.
After being passed over for the vice-presidency candidate position, a disgruntled Wike’s differences with the other man grew even worse.
Wike has asserted that Atiku has been lying about him despite his pledge to stay in the PDP.
In the interim, Atiku has pledged to bring the party together in advance of the 2020 presidential election.