The Supreme Court has dismissed the suit seeking the disqualification of Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima as presidential and vice-presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Apex court on Friday agreed with the lower courts that the PDP lacks the locus Standi to institute such a case.
Recall, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) filed a case against Shettima, alleging double nomination of the party’s Vice Presidential candidate, Senator Kashim Shettima.
The PDP 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 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.
However, the five-member panel of the supreme court in its sitting on Friday ruled that PDP lacked the locus standi to institute the suit.
The Justices further held that the action of the PDP was painful as it used the social media to set a trap for the Apex court to blackmail it, describing this situation as unfortunate and uncalled for.
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According to the judges, a political party has no right to challenge the action of another party, or the decision of INEC, in respect of another party.
They added that for a person to have locus standi to challenge the nomination process of a political party, the person must be a neutral person and an aspirant to that position, and a member of the party.
The justices held that no matter the pains of the PDP on how the APC conducted it’s primary elections and nominated its candidate, the PDP must remain as an onlooker.
They also reminded the PDP of the same issue in 1999 where Atiku Abubakar was nominated for the seat of Governor, but later moved on to become the Vice Presidential Candidate to Olusegun Obasanjo.
In that case, Atiku’s running mate – Boni Haruna took over the Governorship Nomination. INEC wanted to conduct a fresh election then, but the party kicked against it until it got to the Supreme Court.
The court asked the opposition party rhetorically what has changed since 1999.
The PDP had in its suit, claimed that Shettima’s nomination as Tinubu’s running mate, was in breach of the Provisions of sections 29(1), 33, 36 and 84 (1)(2) of the Electoral Act 2022, however, the court in its ruling stressed that the opposition party had no case.