The Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, Atiku Abubakar, has been the target of a lawsuit to have him disqualified as a candidate. However, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has disavowed the complaint (PDP).
Following the May PDP presidential primary election, Wike’s backers filed a lawsuit against Atiku, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal, and INEC for alleged irregularities.
However, in an interview with THISDAY published yesterday, Wike stated that he had not given permission for a lawsuit to be filed in his name.
‘I don’t know anything about the so-called suit,’ he stated. No one was asked to bring a lawsuit on my behalf.
I am unfamiliar with the legal team. Do I look like a youngster going to court at my age? I had 14 days after the primary within which to have filed any claim. Because I failed to do so, will I have to wait until two months after the primary to initiate legal action?
That I had my top security officer take down the PDP flag from Government House was a new allegation only yesterday. Nothing could be further from the truth; consider this to be pure propaganda. Some people are trying to use me to win the election. You can ignore all these falsehoods.
Atiku was removed from “its list of candidates in the 2023 presidential election” after Newgent Ekamon and others filed a lawsuit with the Federal High Court in Abuja under the case number FHC/ABJ/CS/782/2022.
According to the complaint, the plaintiffs want the court to order “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.”
Wike also addressed the matter yesterday, when he spoke at the opening of the new Rivers State House of Assembly Quarters in Port Harcourt, saying, “Let me say and to let Nigerians know that people have called me throughout this morning saying all kinds of things; that I went to court against Atiku Abubakar.
I want to state unequivocally that if there is any legal basis for me to do so, I will indeed appear in court. However, I avoided going to court. I feel the need to get that out there for the benefit of my fellow Nigerians. I have been relatively quiet since I am focused on helping my political party win votes and office in Rivers State through the fruits of democracy. The election is close, and everyone is busy planning their strategy to either win or lose.
No one should mention my name if they end up losing the election. That’s why I informed the candidate, “You will lose or win this election because of individuals surrounding you.” Anyone who knows me well knows that if I am going to go to court, it will be within the first two weeks following the primaries. Given that it involves a case that can’t be taken to court again after the election, the deadline has been set at two weeks.
In response to a call from the other party’s legal department, I explained, “You know me very well; if I were going to court, it is not the kind of lawyers I would have engaged.”
The candidate must know that it is his own party that is behind all of this. Let it be known that there are others who are trying to ruin my reputation by plotting such things. They reported yesterday that I took down all PDP banners from Government House.
We should be discussing strategies for electoral victory, not his curious neighbors. The opposition party is not doing him any favors by working to prevent him from being elected, but if that is what they want, then “good luck to them.”
Even though Gbajabiamila planned against Governor Wike for Speaker, he was congratulated by him for his part in securing the federal government’s repayment to the state from the Paris Club.
“Mr. Speaker, I didn’t invite you because you’re a part of the APC; I invited you because of the part you played in helping Rivers State secure funding for their budget. Then I invited them to come observe how I spent the money. One of the last states to receive a Paris Club refund was mine. They say I am outspoken and battling for the PDP, thus no one wanted to give to me.