A FORMER Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, Minister of State for Education, has petitioned an Abuja Federal High Court to disqualify All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidates Bola Tinubu and Abubakar Atiku from the 2023 general election.
Nwajiuba, who resigned from his ministerial position to run in the APC presidential primary, also asked the court to declare him the party’s authentic candidate.
The minister is also pleading for the cancellation of the votes cast for Atiku and Tinubu in the APC and PDP presidential primaries.
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The APC, the PDP, Tinubu, Atiku, the Attorney-General of the Federation, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are the six defendants in the case with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/942/22.
Nwajiuba, who was one of the APC’s presidential candidates but received only one vote in the June 8 primary despite staying away, accused Tinubu of bribing delegates with dollars.
Specifically, the ex-minister asked the court to rule on whether the composition of the delegates violated Articles 11(A), 12(1), and 13(1) of the APC Constitution.
The ex-minister also asked the court to rule on whether the composition of the delegates at the PDP primary violated Sections 33(1) and (5) (c) of the party’s Constitution.
The plaintiffs asked the court to rule on whether, in light of the explicit, unambiguous, and express provisions and tenor of Sections 6(6) (A), (B), and (C) of the 1999 Constitution, the court has the inherent judicial powers to nullify, cancel, and declare illegal the APC and PDP presidential primaries.
Nwajiuba asked the court to rule on whether all of the votes cast in support of Tinubu and Atiku at the APC and PDP’s special national conventions were illegal, null and void, and had no effect on the grounds of corruption, selling of delegate votes, and voter inducement.
The former minister, who is seeking 26 reliefs, has asked the court to rule that Atiku and Tinubu, along with their agents, bribed delegates with dollars, and that as a result, the votes they received should be declared illegal.
Nwajiuba did not attend the party’s presidential primary election at Eagle Square in Abuja after a group paid N100 million for his nomination form.
The former minister, widely regarded as one of the key South-East candidates, was conspicuously absent from the convention.
His brother, Chinedu Nwajiuba, explained the development by claiming that top-level party leaders violated an agreement and understanding that informed the former minister’s participation in the presidential project.