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Wike sues Atiku, Tambuwal, demands recognition as candidate

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Atiku Abubakar, Nyesom Wike and Aminu Tambuwal

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has sued the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar; the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal; and the PDP over the conduct of the presidential primary of the party that was held was 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.”

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.

The plaintiffs are also seeking a declaration that the PDP acted negligently and in bad faith by assigning the Sokoto governor’s votes to Atiku at the primary.

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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 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.”

In a supporting affidavit he deposed to, Ekamon noted that he was a member of the PDP and attested to the fact that Wike won the presidential election.

He maintained that Tambuwal withdrew from the contest after voting had commenced and directed that his votes be assigned to Atiku.

“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) respondent’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).

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The PUNCH learnt that the court processes had been served on the PDP at its Wadata Plaza headquarters located at Wuse Zone 5 while a copy had also been delivered to Atiku’s Campaign office in Maitama and the Sokoto State Government’s Liaison Office by the court bailiff.

Wike has been at loggerheads with Atiku and Tambuwal since his defeat in the presidential primary.

He had lambasted the PDP for allowing Tambuwal to canvass votes for Atiku after he had already been allowed to speak earlier at the convention.

“If I wanted to scuttle the convention, I could have done that and I told them… I have never seen how people can violate procedures and guidelines. Somebody had spoken. It is only at that point he was speaking that he could say I have withdrawn. You don’t call him back,” Wike had said.

After the primary, Atiku had been advised to pick Wike as his running mate. However, the former Vice-President decided to nominate Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate, a move that further deepened the crisis in the party.

Wike and his clique of governors have reportedly demanded the resignation of the PDP national chairman as a condition for them to campaign for Atiku. They argued that the all top positions in the party are being occupied by northerners and Ayu, who is from the North-Central must resign as a concession to the South.

However, Ayu has maintained that he would only resign after Atiku emerges the winner of the Presidential election next year.

When contacted on the telephone, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, said he was unaware of the case and thus could not comment on it.

“I’m just hearing about this case from you. I have not seen the process and thus cannot comment on it,” he said.

Also, Atiku’s Spokesman, Paul Ibe, said 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.

Effort to reach Wike on his mobile telephone proved abortive, as it indicated that the calls were being forwarded, even as he had yet to respond to a text message sent to his mobile as of the time of filing this report on Thursday night.

Similarly, Mr. Kelvin Ebiri, Special Assistant on Media to the Governor could not be reached as his mobile phone was not connecting, even as he had yet to reply to a text and WhatsApp message sent to him as of the time of filing this report

Politics

APC gives Aisha, Tinubu, Shettima’s wives campaign appointment letters

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First Lady, Aisha Buhari; Senator Oluremi Tinubu and Hajiya Nana, wife of vice presidential candidate, Senator Kashim Shettima, were on Monday given their appointment letters.

The development is coming two days after they were nominated along with other wives of prominent party politicians to lead the presidential campaign team by the ruling All Progressives Congress.

A source told our correspondent that while the letters of the first lady and the spouses of both the presidential candidate and his running mates were delivered to them privately, others were at the campaign office in Abuja to pick them up.

He said, “You cannot expect the first lady as well as Senator Oluremi and Nana Shettima to come all the way to the campaign office to pick their letters. It has to be delivered to them privately.

“But many other members of the campaign team were here today to pick their letters.”

The campaign list, which contained names of 944 high-profile women and wives of prominent APC politicians, was released in the wee hours of Saturday by the campaign media admin, Rinsola Abiola, who is also the daughter of late Chief MKO Abiola.

In the list tagged ‘Tinubu-Shettima Women Presidential Campaign Team,’ Aisha was appointed as Grand Patron, Tinubu, a three-term senator emerged as Chairman; Nana was made Co-Chairman while Lauretta Onochie, Personal Assistant on Social Media to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), also made the campaign train as Deputy National Co-ordinator.

In the category of zonal leaders, Dr Zainab Baugudu, wife of Kebbi State governor will coordinate the NorthWest; wife of Lagos State Governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo–Olu leads South West; First Lady of Borno State, Falmata Zulum will be in charge of the North East.

In a similar vein, Olufolake Abdulrazaq, the first lady of Kwara State, will coordinate efforts in the North-Central and Mrs. Sanwoolu, wife of the Lagos State governor, will superintend over the South-West.

While Imo State First Lady, Chioma Ikeaka-Uzodinma, will organise the South-East campaign; her counterpart in Cross River, Linda Ayade, will oversee activities in the South-South.

The statement partly read, “The Tinubu/Shettima 2023 Women Presidential Campaign Team is pleased to announce the release of the composition of its various committees for the 2023 presidential campaign.

The statement further indicated that wives of APC Governors will serve as coordinators in their respective states while high-profile party women leaders will head campaign activities in non-APC-controlled States.

In the 70-page campaign document, no fewer than 33 Nollywood and Kannywood actors were enlisted for entertainment.

They included veteran thespians such as the inimitable Joke Silva who chairs the category, Fausat Balogun, Remi Oshodi, Mercy Johnson, Rose Odika, Sola Kosoko, Lanre Hassan (Iya Awero) Hajiya Nas, Lizzy Jay (Omo Ibadan), Princess Kalihat Bello among others.

The development is coming on the heels of the unveiling of the contentious APC Presidential Campaign Council list.

Tinubu had last Friday unveiled a 422-man committee comprising political heavyweights and other notable members to pilot the various sub-committees of the campaign council.

The list of members released by Secretary of the Presidential Campaign Council, James Faleke, in Abuja, followed a series of postponements and conjectures about those who would be saddled with the task of leading the ruling party’s bid to retain power at the federal level.

The campaign council chaired by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has Tinubu and the APC National Chairman, Adamu, as co-deputy chairman.

-The Punch

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Stop wooing Wike, Rivers APC tells Tinubu, govs

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Asiwaju Bola Tinubu

…Vows not to support Asiwaju if…

…Demands 25% refund of forms’ proceeds

Stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State, including candidates for the 2023 elections have called on the presidential candidate of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and governors of the South-West to stop hobnobbing with Governor Nyesom Wike.

The stakeholders comprising national assembly and state house of assembly candidates and other party faithful said it was discouraging for members of the party in Rivers State to see leaders of the party that they look up to romancing with a known political opponent like Governor Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party.

They frown that these leaders go as far as visiting the state to inaugurate projects on the invitation of the governor, this, they stressed help to campaign for the ruling party in the state by heaping praises on him (Wike) ahead of a general election.

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hey spoke at a one-day consultative meeting of the South-South executive committee presided over by the APC National Vice Chairman of the zone, Chief Victor Giadom, in Port Harcourt on Sunday evening.

The state APC legal adviser, Dike Iheanyi Zubi, while speaking at the meeting said it was unfair for Governors of the South-West to hold nocturnal meetings with Wike and return back to their states without bothering to an interface or speak with their party members in the state.

Zubi further said the action of Tinubu who has held meetings with Wike abroad and the action of the governors concerned were tantamount to anti-party activities and called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) to call them (Tinubu and the South-West governors) to order.

He said, “It is very discouraging for the APC here in Rivers State to see a situation where the presidential candidate of our party, Ahmed Bola Tinubu and his handlers, including South-West Governors of the APC coming to the state to undermine our party here in Rivers State.

“And they begin to hobnob and hold nocturnal meetings with Wike, who is seen as a contender with the APC here in the state.

Punch

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PDP Reclaims Abuja Council Chairmanship From APC

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Hon. Christopher Maikalangu

ABUJA – A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) court has upheld the election of Hon. Christopher Maikalangu as chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Coun­cil (AMAC).

In a unanimous judgment, the three-man tribunal, in­cluding Hon. Justice S. B Bel­gore (chairman), Hon. Justice Yusuf Halilu (member 1), and Hon. Justice Jude O. Onwueg­buzie (member 2) dismissed the August 5 judgment of the FCT Area Council Election Tribu­nal, which declared Hon. Mur­tala Usman Karshi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner of the election of February 12.

The justices said that the judgment of the lower tribunal was not only evil, but negates all the achievements recorded in Nigeria’s democracy.

While reading out the lead judgment in suit FCT/ ACEAT/AP/01/22, which had Maikalangu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as appellant and Murtala Karshi and three others as respondent, Hon. Justice Yusuf Halilu said the lower tribunal erred by ig­noring contradictory evidenc­es before it.

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The panel said the lower court did a hatchet job by de­claring Karshi winner of the election.

“It is not in doubt the APC as a party was faced with legal battles after the party prima­ries to nominate a flag bearer for the AMAC election held on 12th February 2022. It is equally not in doubt that the 1st respon­dent, Murtala Usman Karshi, was involved in the said alterca­tion, which eventually landed parties before the apex court of this land i.e Supreme Court of Nigeria, which eventually declared the 1st respondent as winner of the APC primary for AMAC election.

“We have seen the evidences supplied by both the appellant and the respondents to the lower tribunal. The witnesses listed by the APC as supervi­sors in the disputed polling units admitted that they were not polling unit agents. It has become critical for us to ask questions at this point on what the process of collating results connote.

“Can collation be done with­out polling units results? It is indeed a process of an election that votes are cast at polling units, results collated by elec­toral officers and results an­nounced to the hearing of all. If that is the case, who then is the proper person to be called in the event that there is a com­plaint anchored on wrongful collation of results? Is it the ward supervisor or a polling unit agent? The answer is a polling unit agent.

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