Absence of Wike’s lawyer stalls hearing in suit against Atiku’s PDP presidential candidacy


 

The absence of Mr Wilfred Okoi, Counsel to Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike in a legal action challenging the validity of Atiku Abubakar’s candidacy as the Peoples Democratic Party PDP flag bearer in the 2023 general election on Wednesday stalled hearing of the suit.

Okoi was at the Federal High Court early in the day and was said to have suddenly developed sickness and had to hurriedly leave the courtroom.

A PDP chieftain, Newgent Ekamon, who instituted the suit alongside Wike informed Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed that the joint lawyer had to leave when his health challenges deteriorated.

Ekamon pleaded with the Judge to grant an adjournment in view of the development.

PDP National Legal Adviser, Mr Adeyemi Kamaldeen Ajibade, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN did not object to the request for adjustment on the ground that anybody can fall sick at any time.

Justice Mohammed subsequently fixed October 7 for the hearing of the suit.

Wike had sued PDP, its presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar; Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal over the conduct of the presidential primary of the party held in Abuja on May 28 and May 29, 2022.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/782/2022, Wike and the PDP chieftain, Newgent Ekamon, are the two plaintiffs.

In the originating summons, 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.

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.

They asked the court to determine whether Tambuwal “having stepped down during the primaries ought to lose his votes.”

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