2023: Buhari’s ex-minister asks court to disqualify Tinubu, Atiku over allegation of vote-buying

Former Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, has filed a suit seeking to disqualify Bola Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), respectively.
Mr Nwajiuba jointly filed the suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja along with a group, Incorporated Trustees of Rights for All International.
He alleged that the primary elections of the APC and PDP that produced the presidential candidates, were marred by vote-buying.
Mr Nwajiuba, who contested for the APC’s presidential ticket in the party’s primary election in June, asked the court to declare him as the candidate of the party by cancelling all the votes garnered by Mr Tinubu.
A presidential aspirant and former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba.
APC presidential aspirant and former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba


He also asked the court to cancel all the votes garnered by Mr Atiku of the PDP.

According to the report by Punch Newspaper, the case with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/942/22 has the APC, the PDP, Mr Tinubu, Atiku, the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as defendants.

Mr Nwajiuba was the first aspirant to procure the N100 million nomination and expression of interest forms of the APC.

He also resigned as a minister in line with the 2022 Electoral Act ahead of all other ministers who contested the APC’s primary election.

However, he refused to show up at the venue of the June 8 convention where the primary election held. He polled only one vote.

He subsequently claimed that he stayed away from the convention because the APC did not zone the ticket to the South-east and he did “not want to be part of the dollar and Naira bazaar”.

In his suit, Mr Nwajiuba attached video evidence of former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, claiming that the delegates were bribed to vote.

Immediate past minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi
Immediate past minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi


PREMIUM TIMES had reported that Mr Amaechi, who was the first runner-up at the APC presidential primary election, alleged that voters were induced to vote during the poll.

He made the claim on Saturday during the 60th birthday celebration of Eugene Ogu, the General Overseer of Abundant Life Evangel Mission, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Composition of delegates

The former minister is also asked the court to determine if the composition of the delegates contravene the constitutions of the two political parties.

Most political parties that adopted the indirect primaries were forced to comply with section 84(8) of the electoral act by using only elected delegates.

In his suit, Mr Nwajiuba asked the court to determine if the composition of the delegates contravened Article 11(A) 12(1) and 13(1) of the constitution of the APC.

Similarly, the plaintiff asked the court whether the composition of delegates at the PDP primary contravened Section 33(1) and (5) (c) of the constitution of the PDP.

In all, Mr Nwajiuba is seeking 26 reliefs including barring Messrs Tinubu and Atiku from ever contesting offices in the future.

We will meet him in court — Atiku’s spokesperson

Paul Ibe, the spokesperson for Atiku, told PREMIUM TIMES over the phone that the ex-minister must provide evidence to back up his claims when they meet in court.

He stated that election was free and free, with officers of the EFCC at the venue to prevent inducement of voters.

“Was he on ground? Was he at the National Stadium for the PDP primaries? So, if he was not at the primaries, how would he have known for a fact. It is easy to make allegations, we will meet him in court. Was he not the gentleman who chickened out of his own primary.

“We will meet in court. We need to say it outrightly, we did not procure any vote. The process was opened and it was a free and fair contest. Also, Atiku Abubakar won on the superiority of his candidacy. The members of the delegates at the primaries were convinced that he stood the best chance of not only winning the election, but also providing the leadership that will bring turn around for Nigeria.

An EFCC Operative


“The EFCC was there to monitor the election, so, I don’t know where he is manufacturing his evidence from,” he said.

When our reporter called APC’s spokesperson, Felix Morka, for his comments, he said he needed to contact the National Legal Adviser of the party.


Culled from Premium Times



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