The absence of Wilfred Okoi, counsel for Rivers state governor Nyesom Wike, in a lawsuit challenging the validity of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s candidacy as the People’s Democratic Party flag bearer in the 2023 general election stalled Wednesday. the trial at a federal high court in Abuja.
Okoi was in court earlier in the day and is said to have suddenly fallen ill and had to rush out of the courtroom.
A PDP chief, Newgent Ekamon, who filed the lawsuit with Wike, told Judge Ramat Mohammed that the lawyer had to leave as his health problems worsened.
Ekamon begged the judge to grant suspension in view of the development.
The PDP’s national legal adviser, Adeyemi Kamaldeen Ajibade (SAN), did not object to the adjustment request because anyone could get sick at any time.
Justice Mohammed then set October 7 for hearing the trial.
Wike had sued the PDP, the presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar; Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal on the conduct of the party’s presidential primaries held in Abuja on May 28 and May 29, 2022.
In the lawsuit designated FHC/ABJ/CS/782/2022, Wike and PDP chief Newgent Ekamon are the two plaintiffs.
The PDP was listed as the first respondent in the original subpoena, while the Independent National Electoral Commission was named as the second respondent.
Tambuwal and Atiku are listed as 3rd and 4th respondents respectively.
In the original subpoena, Wike and his co-applicant asked the court to determine eight issues, including whether the PDP’s alleged transfer of Tambuwal’s votes to Atiku was illegal and void.
The plaintiffs asked the court to determine whether Tambuwal lost his right to vote the moment he stepped down for Atiku.
They asked the court to determine whether Tambuwal “should lose his votes after stepping down in the primaries”.