The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, submitted a lawsuit seeking the disqualification of Bola Tinubu, the president-elect of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Kassim Shettima, Tinubu’s running mate. On Thursday, the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal reserved its decision.
After all parties accepted their final briefs of argument, a panel of three justices of the court adjourned to render its decision on the appeal with the following designation: CA/ABJ/CV/108/2023.
It informed the court that Shettima’s vice presidential nomination by the APC and Tinubu was a flagrant violation of Sections 29(1), 33, 35, and 84(1) and (2) of the Electoral Act of 2022, as modified.
Shettima was allegedly nominated twice, once for the Vice Presidential post and once for the Borno Central Senatorial seat, which the PDP claimed was illegal.
Along with requesting that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, be ordered to remove Tinubu and Shettima’s names from the list of nominated or sponsored candidates who are qualified to run in the election, the appellant also asked the court to invalidate their candidacies.
PDP asked the appellate court to overturn the Federal High Court’s ruling from January 13 in Abuja, which rejected the legal arguments it made against Tinubu and Shettima’s candidacies.
It claimed that Judge Inyang Ekwo of the trial court committed a legal error and reached an unfair verdict that allowed the two Respondents to run for president.
Respondents in the appeal were equally named for INEC and APC.
It will be remembered that Tinubu and Shettima had contested the suit’s legitimacy and the court’s authority to hear it in a joint preliminary objection.
They argued that PDP lacked locus standi, or the legal authority, to bring a case against them.
The pair insisted that no part of the legislation gave the PDP the authority to meddle in another political party’s internal affairs, particularly when it came to the nomination of its candidates for an election.
The PDP’s issues presented in the lawsuit, they added, were not justiciable because they had not disclosed any plausible causes of action.
Justice Ekwo’s decision upheld the early objection and resulted in the dismissal of the lawsuit due to its meritlessness.
Additionally, he maintained that the case was covered by the estoppel principle because the claim made against Tinubu and his running partner was previously decided by another court.
Justice Ekwo ruled that the lawsuit was an abuse of the legal system and should be dismissed as a result, adding that the court lacked the authority to hear it.