The crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is about to reach a dramatic denouement. Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has sued Atiku Abubakar, PDP presidential flagbearer and Governor Aminu Tambuwal of the Sokoto State to court. This is over the outcome of the party’s 28 and 29 May 2022 presidential primary elections in Abuja.
Atiku polled 371 votes while Wike and Bukola Saraki scored 237 and 70 votes, in that order.
Wike and Newgent Ekamon, a top kick of the party, are, according to The Punch, listed as plaintiffs in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/782/2022. While the PDP is listed as the first respondent in the originating summon, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are the second respondent. The 3rd and 4th respondents are Tambuwal and Atiku, in that order.
On the day of the election, Tambuwal stepped down for Atiku, a development that helped the latter’s victory that day.
Now, Wike has eight prayers. Does Tambuwal have any claim to votes the moment he stepped down for Atiku? In other words, he wants the court to determine whether Tambuwal “having stepped down during the primaries ought to lose his votes.”
Wike and Ekamon 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.”
“The third respondent (Tambuwal) speaking twice before stepping down from the contest, persuaded all his delegates who were going to vote for him to vote for the 4th respondent (Atiku).
“The 1st (PDP) and 4th (Atiku) respondents who also wanted the votes desperately agreed with the 3rd (Tambuwal) and assigned 3rd (Tambuwal) respodnent’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).
However, Wike has denied going to court .