Timi Alaibe, one of the 21 aspirants in the just concluded governorship primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State, has gone to court, seeking the cancellation of the exercise.
The primary was won by Douye Diri, a senator who is backed by the incumbent governor of the state, Seriake Dickson.
Mr Diri scored 561 votes, while Mr Alaibe came second with 365 votes.
Mr Alaibe, in a statement on Saturday from his campaign organisation, said the electoral process was “flawed” and “manipulated”, and that he was “brazenly robbed of victory”.
He filed an application on Friday at the federal high court, Yenogoa, seeking the cancellation of the result of the primary.
The PDP, Mr Diri, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are among the defendants in the suit.
“The suit filed pursuant to Order 3(9) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019, seeks answers to questions bordering on obvious non-adherence to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Electoral Act 2010, the Peoples Democratic Party Constitution and Election Guidelines, by the State Chapter of the party in the conduct of the Ward Congresses, inclusion of local government council officials in the delegates list and the procedure for inclusion of three ad-hoc delegates.
“Citing specific sections of relevant laws and guidelines, Alaibe is asking the court to examine the entire processes that resulted in the primaries and rule in his favour in the light of violations committed in a desperate move to impose a pre-determined hand-picked candidate on the people out of 21 aspirants,” said the statement which was signed by the administrative secretary of the campaign organisation, Seiyefa Brisibe.
No date has yet been fixed for hearing.
Mr Alaibe, among other things, had protested against the inclusion of newly elected council chairmen, vice chairmen, and councilors as delegates in the primary. Their inclusion, he said, violated the PDP constitution.
The Bayelsa governorship election comes up on November 16.