RIVERS State Governor Nyesom Wike has dragged Atiku Abubakar to court over the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2023 general elections.
Wike filed the lawsuit alongside another PDP member, Michael Ekamon, according to records at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/782/2022, Wike and Ekamon are listed as the plaintiffs.
The PDP, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), governor of Sokoto State Aminu Tambuwal and Atiku are listed as the 1st to 4th respondents, respectively.
The parties were served on July 1, and a PDP official responded to the originating summons on August 5 in Abuja.
Praying the court to declare Wike the PDP presidential candidate, the plaintiffs asked the court to determine if Tambuwal lost his claim to votes when he stepped down for Atiku.
They also asked the court to determine whether Tambuwal “having stepped down during the primaries, ought to lose his votes”.
The plaintiffs 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.
In addition, they seek a declaration that the PDP acted negligently and in bad faith by assigning the Sokoto governor’s votes to Atiku at the primary.
They prayed the court to cancel the transfer of votes as 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 at the primary hat wss held on May 28 and 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 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 attested that Wike won the presidential election and maintained that Tambuwal withdrew from the contest after voting had commenced and directed that his votes be assigned to Atiku.
Wike and Atiku participated in the PDP Presidential primary in May.
Atiku came first with 371 votes while Wike came second with 237.
Wike has been at loggerheads with Atiku since the party’s presidential candidate refused to pick him as running mate, and all attempts to reconcile them have so far been unsuccessful.
Atiku’s Spokesperson Paul Ibe told PUNCH that his principal had not yet been served and thus could not comment on the matter.
“We are not aware of the case and have not been served. When we are served, we will respond appropriately. However, the response will be done in the proper manner and not through the media,” Ibe said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Wike expressed regrets over his failure to actualise his presidential ambition after failing to emerge as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the 2023 general elections.
He said he has the leadership qualities to deal decisively with the nation’s security challenges.
Wike said: “The only regret I have is that I don’t have the opportunity to tell the bandits enough is enough. If I had the opportunity, their time will be gone, but it is unfortunate I don’t have the opportunity.”