A FORMER Minister of State for Education Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba has asked an Abuja Federal High Court to disqualify All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidates Bola Tinubu and Abubakar Atiku, respectively, from the 2023 general election.
Nwajiuba, who resigned his ministerial position to contest the APC presidential primary, also asked the court to declare him the authentic candidate of the party.
The minister, in conjunction with a group, Incorporated Trustees of Rights for All International (IRA), is also praying for the cancellation of the votes garnered by Atiku and Tinubu in the APC and PDP presidential primaries.
In the case with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/942/22, the APC, the PDP, Tinubu, Atiku, the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are the six defendants.
Nwajiuba, who was among the APC presidential aspirants but polled only one vote at the June 8 primary even though he stayed away, accused Tinubu of bribing delegates with dollars.
Specifically, the ex-minister asked the court to determine whether the composition of the delegates contravened Article 11(A) 12(1) and 13(1) of the Constitution of the APC.
The ex-minister also asked the court to determine if the composition of the delegates at the PDP primary contravened Section 33(1) and (5) (c) of the Constitution of the party.
The plaintiffs prayed the court to determine whether, having regard to the explicit unambiguous and express provisions and tenor of sections 6(6) (A) (B) and (C) read alongside Section 15(5) of the 1999 Constitution, the court has the inherent judicial powers to nullify, cancel and declare as illegal the presidential primaries of the APC and the PDP.
Nwajiuba asked the court to determine if all the votes cast in favour of Tinubu and Atiku at the special national convention of the APC and PDP were illegal, null and void and of no effect whatsoever on the grounds of corruption and selling of delegate’s votes and voter inducement.
The former minister, who is seeking 26 reliefs, asked the court to rule that Atiku and Tinubu, along with their agents, bribed delegates with dollars, and as a result, the votes they got should be declared illegal.
The former minister, regarded as one of the key contestants from the South-East, was visibly absent at the convention.
Giving reasons for the development, his brother, Chinedu Nwajiuba, said leaders of the party at the top level reneged on an agreement and understanding that informed the former minister’s engagement in the presidential project.