Double Nomination: Supreme Court Dismisses Suit against Tinubu, Shettima

Salihu Ali, Abuja

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The Supreme Court of Nigeria has dismissed the appeal by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), seeking the disqualification of President-elect Ahmed Tinubu, and his vice, Kashim Shettima in the February 25 Presidential election.

The court upheld the decision of the appeal Court in a judgement by a three-member panel headed by Justice James Abundaga, which unanimously held that the PDP failed to establish that it had locus standi to institute the case.

Delivering its judgement on Friday, the apex court held that the PDP’S Suit praying disqualification of Tinubu and Shettima on grounds of alleged double nomination by Shettima was grossly lacking in merit and dismissed it.

Justice Adamu Jauro who delivered the lead judgment slammed a two million naira, N2m, fine on PDP for poking its nosing into the internal affairs of the All Progressives Congress in the conduct of its primary elections and nomination of its candidates.

He agreed with Tinubu’s lawyer, Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN that PDP acted as a busybody and meddlesome interloper in the ways and manners it dabbled into APC’S affairs unjustly.

The Apex Court held that apart from the fact that PDP lacked requisite jurisdiction to institute the suit, the party also failed to provide a scintilla of evidence that Shettima engaged in double nomination.

The claim of PDP’ on the alleged double nomination of the Vice President-elect Kashim Shettima was described as most unfortunate and a clear and deliberate mischief to mislead the Court and the country.

The Supreme Court also agreed with APC’s lawyer Fagbemi SAN that no matter the pains of the PDP on how APC conducted its primary election and nominated its candidates, PDP must remain an onlooker.

“It is abundantly clear that the Appellant (PDP) in the totality of its position in the instant case, is peeping and poke-nosing into the affairs of another party as a busybody and meddlesome interloper.

The Court held that the action of PDP was painful because it used social media to set a booby trap for the Supreme Court to blackmail it. “This is most unfortunate, unwarranted and uncalled for.”

The Apex Court held that the suit from the trial court to Supreme Court was a failure and a waste of judicious time of the court.

The Apex court held that records of documents attest to the fact that Shettima withdrew his nomination from being the senatorial candidate for Borno Central Senatorial District on 6th July 2022.

Also, records show Shettima’s placeholder withdrew from his Vice President nomination.

The Apex Court held that “the suit is a Pre-Election matter, is one of the frivolous appeals the court is renovated with in recent times.”

The Apex court cited the case of the replacement of former Governor Bony Haruna of Adamawa state after Atiku Abubakar was picked as running mate to former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The PDP had, in the suit filed on July 28, 2022, challenged the validity of the Tinubu/Shettima ticket for the 2023 presidential election.

It argued that Shettima’s nomination as the running mate was in breach of the provisions of Sections 29(1), 33, 35 and 84{1)}(2)} of the Electoral Act, 2022 (as amended), claiming that Shettima had the double nomination.

It claimed that as of the time Shettima was nominated as a vice presidential candidate, he had not resigned or withdrawn his nomination as candidate for the Borno Central Senatorial poll.

The party argued that Shettima’s nomination as a vice-presidential candidate, as well as the candidate for the Borno Central Senatorial seat, contravened the law.

The PDP, which sought an order disqualifying the APC, Tinubu and Shettima from contesting the presidential election of February 25, equally prayed to the court for an order nullifying their candidacy.

While the PDP was the appellant, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), APC, Tinubu and Shettima were respondents in the appeal.


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