Crisis in PDP deepens as Wike slams Atiku with lawsuit; demands to be declared party’s flagbearer

The crisis in the People's Democratic Party seem to be deepening as the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has sued the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal over the conduct of the May 28/29 presidential primary of the party.

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 (INEC) is the second respondent. Tambuwal and Atiku are listed as the third and fourth respondents respectively.

At the primary, Atiku polled 371 votes while Wike and Bukola Saraki garnered 237 and 70 votes respectively. Tanbuwal stepped down and asked delegates to instead vote for Atiku.

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 Governor and his plaintiff also 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.”

Wike and Ekamon 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. They are also asking the court to declare 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 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.

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