The supreme court Friday morning dismissed the suit seeking the disqualification of Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima as presidential and vice-presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
PDP dragged Tinubu and Shettima to court over alleged double nomination of Shettima by his APC
But a five-member panel of the supreme court held that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lacked the locus standi to institute the suit or meddle in the affairs another political party.
The panel held that PDP is not a member of the APC.
The PDP had alleged that Shettima’s nomination as Tinubu’s running mate was in breach of the provisions of sections 29(1), 33, 35, and 84(1)(2) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
The opposition party argued that Shettima’s nomination to contest the position of vice-president and Borno central senatorial seat — at the same time — contravened the law but the Supreme Court held otherwise.
Justice Adamu Jauro said the PDP acted as meddlesome Interloper and a busy body as it is an internal affair of the APC.
The PDP, in the suit filed on July 28, 2022, had claimed that Shettima’s nomination as Tinubu’s running mate was in breach of the provisions of sections 29(1), 33, 35, and 84(1)(2) of the electoral act, 2022.
The party argued that Shettima’s nomination to contest the position of vice-president and Borno central senatorial seat — at the same time — contravened the law.
The PDP, which sought an order disqualifying the APC, Tinubu, and Shettima from contesting the presidential election, also sought an order nullifying their candidacies.
However, Inyang Ekwo, the trial judge at the court of appeal, dismissed the suit on the grounds that the PDP lacked the locus standi to institute the suit.
Not satisfied, the PDP rushed and appealed the judgment.
In a judgment this morning, the five-member panel of the apex court, held that the appeal by the PDP was grossly lacking in merit and a waste of the court’s precious time.
Justice Adamu Jauro, in the lead judgment, affirmed the earlier judgments of the Federal High Court and Court of Appeal, which dismissed the case on the grounds that the PDP lacked locus standi to challenge the process of nomination of candidates by another party.
Justice Jauro described PDP as a busy body and meddlesome interloper, held that Kashim was not guilty of double nomination as there was evidence that he resigned as a senatorial candidate on April 6 before he was nominated as Vice presidential candidate on April 14.
He held that not being a member of the APC and candidate in its primary election, the PDP cannot challenge the process the APC adopted in nominating its candidates.
“The appellant, having failed to disclose its locus standi, this appeal fails and it is hereby dismissed,” he said.
The judge also held that Section 285(14)(c) of the Constitution, which the PDP relied on in bringing the case did not clothe it with the right to challenge INEC decisions and activities in relation to other political parties.
On the PDP’s request that it hear the case on the merit, the court said since the 180 days within which the trial court could have heard the case and the 60 days for the Court of Appeal have elapsed, it no longer has the jurisdiction to consider the case on the merit.
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