Can Supreme Court Sack Tinubu because of Shettima's Alleged Double Nomination? Lawyer Gives Insight
- The Supreme Court has set May 26 as the date to deliver its judgment on a lawsuit seeking the disqualification of Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima as presidential and vice-presidential candidates of the APC
- The suit, filed by the PDP, claims that Shettima's nomination as Tinubu's running mate violated electoral laws
- A constitutional lawyer, Festus Ogun, shared insight regarding the matter, emphasising that only an aspirant within a party can challenge a candidate's nomination
FCT, Abuja - Friday, May 26, may be a significant date in Nigeria's political history as the Supreme Court has fixed the day to deliver its judgement in a suit seeking the disqualification of Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima as presidential and vice-presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), respectively.
In the suit filed on July 28, 2022, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 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 opposition party argued that Shettima’s nomination to contest the position of Vice-President and Borno Central Senatorial District seat simultaneously 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.
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PDP vs Tinubu and Shettima: The Federal High Court's verdict
Ruling on the matter, Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court dismissed the suit on the grounds that the PDP lacked the locus standi to institute the suit.
However, the PDP appealed the judgment.
Delivering judgment in the appeal, a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal led by Justice James Abundaga also held that the PDP failed to establish it had locus standi to institute the case.
Abundaga described the PDP as a busybody, who dabbled into issues that were internal affairs of the APC.
The judge dismissed the appeal as the PDP failed to establish its locus standi.
Still unsatisfied, the party proceeded to the Supreme Court to seek redress.
Nigerian lawyer Festus Ogun gives insight ahead of Supreme Court's verdict
Reacting to the development, Festus Ogun, a constitutional lawyer, shared his experience litigating similar matters.
"I litigated not less than 4 matters on this point, last year. Our courts were in unison in holding that another political party lacks the locus to question the nomination of a rival political party’s candidate. This is the law as we know it," Ogun tweeted.
The lawyer further explained:
"A rival political party cannot question the nomination of a candidate pre-election. Section 285(14)(a)(b)(c) of the 1999 Constitution says only an aspirant who actually contested in the primary election that produced the (challenged) candidate has locus. The is well settled.
"That is one of the changes brought by the fourth alteration to the Constitution. Even under Section 84(14) of the Electoral Act, 2022 only an aspirant within a party can challenge the nomination of a candidate in that very party. Authorities on this are abound."
Atiku says he is not worried about Tinubu’s swearing-in on May 29
In another report, the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku, on Tuesday, May 23, said he is unperturbed by Tinubu’s imminent swearing-in as Nigeria’s president on May 29.
He spoke through his lead counsel, Chris Uche (SAN), shortly after the presidential election petition court (PEPC) sitting at the court of appeal, Abuja.
The presidential PDP candidate said he is sure he is going to ‘reclaim his mandate’ in court sooner or later.