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Appeal Court throws out PDP’s suit against Tinubu, Shettima


An Appeal Court sitting in Abuja had on Friday evening, dismissed an appeal, filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, seeking the disqualification of Sen. Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate, All Progressives Congress, and his running mate, Kashim Shettima, in the February 25 presidential election.

Justice James Abundaga-led’s three-member panel, in a unanimous judgment, held that the PDP failed to establish that it had locus standi to institute the case.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the PDP, in an appeal marked: CA/ABJ/CV/108/2023, had prayed to the appellate court to reverse the January 13 judgment delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court, Abuja which dismissed its suit because the PDP lacked locus standi to have instituted the suit.

The PDP was the appellant while the Independent National Electoral Commission APC, Tinubu, and Shettima were respondents in the appeal.

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

It pleaded 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), arguing that Shettima had double nominations.

It argued that at the time Shettima was nominated as a vice presidential candidate, he had not resigned or withdrawn his nomination as candidate for the Borno Central Senatorial poll.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 pleaded that Shettima’s nomination as a vice-presidential candidate, as well as the candidate for the Borno Central Senatorial sea, conflicted with the law.

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

It further prayed to the court for an order, compelling INEC to remove their names from its list of nominated or sponsored candidates suitable to contest the election.

However, the defendants, in their introductory objection, demanded the court to dismiss the suit for want of jurisdiction.

They argued that the complainant lacked the locus standing to initiate the case, which invariably challenged APC’s decision and its nomination of candidates for the election, which were within the confines of the party’s internal affairs and thus, non-justiciable.

While delivering the lead judgment, Justice Abundaga, who consented with the submissions of counsels to the respondents, including Thomas Ojo of Lateef Fagbemi and Co, described the PDP as a busy body, who dabbled into matters that were internal affairs of the APC.

He held that the trial court was right to have held that the PDP failed to establish its locus standi.

“The appellant, having failed to disclose its locus standi, this appeal fails and it is hereby dismissed,” he said and proceeded to affirm the judgment of the FHC.

However, the judge awarded N5 million cost against the appellant’s lawyer, J. O. Olotu.


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