Abiola’s Wife Files Suit Against PDP, Asks Court to Disqualify Jonathan



Professor Akasoba Duke-Abiola one if the presidential aspirants denied expression of interest for by her party has filed a suit against the Peoples Democratic Party,PDP challenging the refusal of the party “or neglect of the 1st Defendant (PDP) to make available to the Plaintiff the Expression of Interest Form code no PD 002/P, despite repeated demands and upon payment of the mandatory N2,000,000.00 (Two Million Naira)”

The suit filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja has PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission,INEC as defendants.

Professor Abiola wants the court to resolve  several questions such as “Whether by virtue of section 50(1) of the 1st Defendant’s (PDP) Constitution, and Section 87(1) & (9) of the Electoral Act 2010, the 1st Defendant is not under an obligation to comply with ALL the rules made under the “Electoral Guidelines for Primary Elections 2014 of the PDP”.

“WhetheR by virtue of Article 3 (1) (a) and (b) of the “Electoral Guidelines for Primary Elections 2014 of the PDP”, the Plaintiff is not entitled to obtain the Expression of Interest Form in relation to Presidential Primaries of the 1st Defendant (PDP) having paid the mandatory sum of N2,000,000.00 (Two Million Naira) into the account of the 1st Defendant.

“Whether the failure, refusal or neglect of the 1st Defendant (PDP) to make available to the Plaintiff the Expression of Interest Form code no PD 002/P, despite repeated demands and upon payment of the mandatory N2,000,000.00 (Two Million Naira) is not a breach of Article 3(1)(a) and (b) of the “Electoral Guidelines for Primary Elections 2014 of the PDP”.

“If the answers to questions 1, 2 and 3 above are in the affirmative, whether the 1st Defendant can, in the circumstances, hold a valid primaries to provide a Presidential candidate in view of Section 87 (1), (7) and (9) of Electoral Act 2010.

“If the answer to question 4, above is in the negative and whether having failed to comply with its own “Electoral Guidelines for Primary Elections 2014 of the PDP”, and in view of the provision of Section 87(9) of the Electoral Act, 2010, the 1st Defendant (PDP) can field any candidate for the Presidential Election in 2015.

“If the answer to question 4 above is in the negative, whether the 2nd Defendant can accept any candidate from the 1st Defendant (PDP) as a Presidential candidate for the Presidential Elections of 2015.

The plaintiff (Professor Abiola) is seeking the following consequential reliefs: “A declaration that by virtue of Section 50(1) of the 1st Defendant’s (PDP) Constitution, Section 87(1) & (9)) of the Electoral Act, 2010, the 1st Defendant is under an obligation to comply with ALL the rules made under the “Electoral Guidelines for Primary Elections 2014 of the PDP”.

“A declaration that by virtue of Article 3 (1) (a) and (b), “Electoral Guidelines for Primary Elections, 2014 of the PDP”, the Plaintiff is entitled to obtain the Expression of Interest Form in relation to Presidential Primaries of the 1st Defendant (PDP), having paid the mandatory sum of N2,000,000.00 (Two Million Naira) to the 1st Defendant.

“A declaration that the failure, refusal or neglect of the 1st Defendant (PDP) to make available to the Plaintiff the Expression of Interest Form code no PD 002/P, despite repeated demands and upon payment of the mandatory N2,000,000.00 (Two Million Naira) is a breach of Article 3(1)(a) and (b) of the “Electoral Guidelines for Primary Elections 2014 of the PDP”.

“A declaration that in view of Section 87 (1), (7) and (9) of the Electoral Act, 2010, the 1st Defendant cannot lawfully hold a valid primaries to nominate a Presidential candidate for the purpose of 2015 General elections.

“A declaration that, having failed to comply with the “Electoral Guidelines for Primary Elections 2014 of the PDP”, and in view of the provision of section 87(9) of the Electoral Act, 2010, the 1st Defendant (PDP) cannot validly field any candidate for the Presidential Election in 2015.

“A declaration that the 2nd Defendant cannot accept any candidate fielded by the 1st Defendant for purposes of the Presidential Election in 2015, by reason of the provisions of Section 87 (9) of the Electoral Act, 2010.

“An order of Perpetual injunction restraining the 2nd Defendant from accepting any candidate fielded by the 1st Defendant for purposes of the 2015 Presidential Elections.

“Such further or other orders as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.

The  affidavit in support of originating summons runs thus “I, Professor Akasoba Duke-Abiola, female, adult, Nigerian of C/o Festus Keyamo Chambers, 13, Noukchott Street, Wuse, Zone 1, Abuja, do hereby make oath and state as follows:

“That I am the Plaintiff on record, the widow of Late Chief M.K.O Abiola and also a one-time gubernatorial candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1991 under the old Rivers State.

“That I am a political scientist, military historian, justice advocate, and expert in peace and conflict resolution.

“That I am a founding member of the 1st Defendant (PDP) in Rivers State, and played a great role in ensuring the metamorphosis of the old structures of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) into the 1st Defendant (PDP).

“That I am a grassroots politician and I have, at various times mobilized millions of Nigerians from within and outside the country to join the 1st Defendant and I have been a member of the Steering Committee of the 1st Defendant.

“That I am a registered member of the 1st Defendant (PDP) with Registered Card 9464516. My 1st Defendant’s Membership card is herein attached and marked Exhibit A.

“That when the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC lifted the ban on politics ahead of 2015 General Elections, the National Executive Committee (NEC) and the Board of Trustees of the 1st Defendant (PDP) met and adopted President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as the sole Presidential Candidate of the 1st Defendant.

“That the PDP Governors Forum also adopted President Goodluck Jonathan as its sole candidate for the 2015 Presidential Election.

“That the said adoptions/endorsements were widely reported in Newspapers across the country, some of the Newspaper publications are herein attached and marked Exhibit B.

“That the National Executive Committee of the Party also adopted the “Electoral Guidelines for Primary Elections 2014 of the PDP”. The copy of the said Guidelines is herein attached and marked Exhibit C.

“That by the provisions of Article 3(1) (a) of the “Electoral Guidelines for Primary Elections 2014 of the PDP”, all aspirants for the office of President are entitled to Expression of Interest Form Code PD 002/P upon payment of prescribed non-refundable fee of N2,000,000.00 (Two Million Naira) only.

“That I paid N2, 000,000.00 (Two Million Naira) only for the Expression of Interest Form on the 27th October, 2014. The copy of the Manager’s Cheque and Deposit Slip are herein attached and marked as Exhibits D1 and D2 respectively.

“That I submitted the copy of the deposit slip to the 1st Defendant’s Secretariat on the 27th October, 2014 and I was congratulated and given official receipt from the Party, wherein it was boldly written that it was for the payment for Expression of Interest Form. The said receipt is herein attached and marked Exhibit E.

That I was the first person that paid for the Expression of Interest Form among all the Presidential Aspirants of the 1st Defendant.

“That upon issuance of the receipt by the Party, I was ushered into the office of the National Organizing Secretary, who congratulated me and asked me to come back on 28 October, 2014 and meet the National Chairman so that he could officially hand over the Expression of Interest Form to me being a Presidential Aspirant, the highest political office in the Party.

“That upon this assurance, I pleaded with my thousands of supporters, who had followed me to the Party Secretariat to obtain the Expression of Interest Form to wait till the next day being the 28th day of October, 2014.

“That I went back on the said 28th day of October, 2014, as directed, but the security agents at the entrance gate of the 1st Defendant refused to allow me gain entry into the secretariat , and were very hostile to me and my supporters. It took the intervention of senior police officers for me to be allowed entrance into the secretariat.

“That when I eventually gained entrance into the secretariat, I met the National Chairman of the 1st Defendant in his office amongst some Governors, who in turn directed me to meet the National Secretary of the Party to give me the Expression of Interest Form.

“That when I met the National Secretary of the 1st Defendant, he informed me that the Party did not have any Expression of Interest Form to give to me.

“That he further informed me that the 1st Defendant had printed only one Expression of Interest Form, which I demanded that he gave to me since I was the only person that had paid for the Form as at that time.

 

“That the National Secretary of the 1st Defendant expressly told me that the sole Form available was meant for President Goodluck Jonathan only, who has been adopted by the National Working Committee and the Board of Trustees of the 1st Defendant as the sole/consensus candidate of the Party.

“That when I protested against the discriminatory nature of the policy and demanded the Expression of Interest Form I had paid for, he bluntly asked me to go back to the office of the National Chairman of the 1st Defendant and ask him to give me the Form.

“That upon informing the National Chairman of the 1st Defendant of the development, he expressly told me that the 1st Defendant will not give me the Form as the only Form printed had been reserved only for President Goodluck Jonathan, and further advised that I should leave the premises of the 1st Defendant.

 

“That I had to leave disgracefully as thousands of my supporters who came with me for the second day were disappointed by the refusal of the Party to give me the Expression of Interest Form.

 

“That when I heard that the time for the issuance of the Expression of Interest Form was extended, I went back to the 1st Defendant’s National Secretariat on 5th November, 2014.

 

“That on getting to the Secretariat, I met with the National Secretary of the 1st Defendant and told him that I heard that the date was extended for other aspirants to enable us collect the Expression of Interest Forms, and that I had come to collect my own Form, but he informed me that there was no Form for me and asked me to go and get the Form from the source of my information.

 

“That upon counsel from my solicitors and political associates, I went back to the 1st Defendant’s National Secretariat on 6th and 7th of November, 2014 and demanded for the Form, but all to no avail, as they refused to give me the Expression of Interest Form and informed me that they were acting on the resolution of the 1st Defendant as a whole.

 

“That the 1st Defendant has now closed the issuance of Expression of Interest Forms, and I have been denied the Form, even when I was the first person that paid for it.

“That the 1st Defendant acknowledged my payment for the Expression of Interest Form but still went ahead to issue the alleged sole Form to Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who paid much later than I did.

 

“That by the refusal of the 1st Defendant to give me the Form, they have denied me the right to contest for the position of the President.

 

“That I have satisfied all the requirements for obtaining the Expression of Interest Form Code PD002/P, and the 1st Defendant had no reason for denying me the Form, other than that the Form printed was meant for President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan only.

 

“That I know that the spirit of the existing laws regulating elections in Nigeria are to the effect that a level playing field is guaranteed by the electoral guidelines for all political parties.

 

“That it is in the interest of justice to grant the reliefs sought in this suit.

 

“That I depose to this affidavit in good faith while believing its contents as correct and in accordance with the Oaths Act, Cap O1, LFN, 2004.