Crisis Worsen In PDP As Wike Sues Atiku, Tambuwal Over Presidential Primary
The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has sued the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar; the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal; and the PDP over the conduct of the presidential primary of the party that was held in Abuja on May 28 and May 29, 2022.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/782/2022, Wike and a PDP chieftain, Newgent Ekamon, are listed as the plaintiffs. In the originating summons, the PDP is listed as the first respondent while the Independent National Electoral Commission is the 2nd respondent. Tambuwal and Atiku are listed as the 3rd and 4th respondents respectively.
During the PDP presidential primary, when aspirants were asked to address delegates, Tambuwal had asked them to vote for him only to return moments later to ask them to vote for Atiku.
At the primary, Atiku polled 371 votes while Wike and Bukola Saraki garnered 237 and 70 votes respectively. After the convention, the National Chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, described Tambuwal as the “hero of the convention.”
In the originating summons, Wike and his co-applicant asked the court to determine eight issues including whether the purported transfer of Tambuwal’s votes to Atiku by the PDP was illegal and void.
The plaintiffs asked the court to determine if Tambuwal lost his claim to votes the moment he stepped down for Atiku.
He asked the court to determine whether Tambuwal “having stepped down during the primaries ought to lose his votes.”
The outcome of the primary election led to a crisis within the party.
In a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/782/2022, Ekamon and other plaintiffs asked a federal high court in Abuja to determine if the transfer of Tambuwal’s votes to Atiku is legal.
They asked the court to declare that the PDP was wrong to assign Tambuwal’s votes to the former vice-president.
The plaintiffs asked the court to direct “the first respondent (PDP) to declare the second 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 first respondent (PDP) to forward his name as the candidate to contest the presidential election in 2023”.
The development comes after Atiku and Wike tried to mend fences at a meeting brokered by Jerry Gana, former minister and PDP board of trustees (BoT) member in Abuja, last week.