Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has reacted to the suit filed by a former Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, seeking the disqualification of its presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.
The spokesperson for the APC, Felix Morka, told PREMIUM TIMES on Friday, that the former minister is on a fishing expedition as his suit is based on speculations and nothing concrete.
He noted that it is extreme for Mr Nwajiuba, who polled one vote at the June 8 convention, to seek to upturn the decision of the majority of delegates who voted at the party’s primary election.
Mr Tinubu, a former Lagos State governor, polled 1,271 votes to emerge as the candidate of the party. His closest rival, Rotimi Amaechi, who also resigned as the Minister of Transportation to participate in the primary election, polled 316 votes.
Nwajiuba seeks disqualification of Tinubu, Atiku
Mr Nwajiuba, in a suit he filed along with the Incorporated Trustees of Rights for All International at the Federal High Court in Abuja, asked the court to disqualify Mr Tinubu and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
He alleged that the primary elections of the APC and PDP that produced the presidential candidates were marred by vote-buying.
The ex-minister challenged the legality of the composition of the delegates that produced the two candidates. Also, he asked the court to declare him the winner of the APC’s presidential primary election.
We are not disturbed— Morka
Mr Morka stated that while the ex-minister has the right to approach the court, the party is not concerned about the case. He stated that Mr Tinubu remains the legitimate candidate of the party.
He said APC will not stop any of its members from ventilating their grievances in court but expects them to prioritise its collective interest ahead of the 2023 elections.
“The former Hon. Minister is a citizen of Nigeria and has every right to go to court to complain.
“We think that the case is nothing; it is just simply a wild fishing expedition that is founded on pure speculation and not backed by any concrete basis.
“He was a contestant in that primary; I believe he scored one vote. Going to court, seeking to upturn the decision of the majority of delegates who voted, I think it is somewhat going to be extreme.”
He said while Mr Nwajiuba had the right to approach the court, “it is up to the court to adjudicate the case he brought.”
“We are not concerned about it. Bola Tinubu is the legitimate candidate of the party. He was elected by the majority of delegates who cast their votes, at probably one of Nigeria’s freest and fairest primaries ever conducted.
“We are not concerned about the case. He is a member of the APC and we hope that he will do the right thing by supporting the candidate of the party as we approach 2023,” he said.
Atiku’s spokesperson, Paul Ibe, similarly belittled the suit as nothing to worry about.
He stated that Mr Nwajiuba should be ready to provide evidence to back his claims.
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