Supreme Court to decide Tinubu, Shettima’s disqualification May 26

0
5

THE Supreme Court will on May 26 deliver judgment in a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the disqualification of President-elect Bola Tinubu and Vice President-elect Kashim Shettima.

The PDP, in the suit filed on July 28, 2022, asked for the disqualification of Tinubu and Shettima from contesting the 2023 presidential election on the grounds that Shettima’s nomination as Tinubu’s running mate amounted to double nomination, in breach of the provisions of Sections 29(1), 33, 35 and 84{1)}(2)} of the Electoral Act, 2022 as amended.

The party argued that Shettima’s nomination to contest the position of vice president and Borno Central senatorial seat breached the law.

The suit had earlier been dismissed by an Abuja Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal.

The PDP is asking the Supreme Court to reverse the Court of Appeal judgment, which held that the party failed to establish its locus standi, noting that Shettima’s disqualification for double nomination could halt the swearing-in of Tinubu as President since they ran a combined ticket.

Lawyer to PDP Joe Agim told the court that the All Progressives Congress (APC) had earlier admitted Shettima’s double nomination at the Court of Appeal.

“There’s a punishment for double nomination,” Agim said.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in its argument noted that the PDP lacked the locus standi to file the suit, which was challenging the political party’s decision and its nomination of candidates for the polls.

The APC also argued that the issue on contention concerned the internal affairs of the political party.

The party also noted that the after 180 days, it was too late for the PDP to file a case on the subject with the Supreme Court. 

However, in its rejoinder, the PDP cited Uche Nwosu’s precedent and contended that the number of days was irrelevant since, as the Supreme Court had previously stated, “time does not run” when considering cases of double nomination.

The PDP requested that the Supreme Court exercise its authority and assume jurisdiction over the case to overturn the lower courts’ earlier rulings and reassess the parties’ arguments.

The PDP claimed that Shettima’s nominations for vice president and senator are against the terms of the Electoral Act.

The party asserted that Shettima’s Senate nomination had not been withdrawn from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the time he was nominated as Tinubu’s running mate, arguing that running for two posts at once was unlawful.

The Supreme Court fixed Friday, May 26, to deliver judgment on the matter after listening to the contending parties.

The apex court had in the past dismissed suits seeking Tinubu’s disqualification.

On March 30, the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal filed by a former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, seeking the disqualification of the presidential candidates of the APC, Tinubu and the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, from the just concluded presidential election.

The court dismissed the appeal when the former minister withdrew it after learning that it had been submitted outside the legal deadline and was, therefore, statute barred.

The Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal in Abuja had dismissed the matter on the grounds that the case lacked merit.

Nwajiuba and a non-governmental organisation, Rights for Everyone International, had petitioned the Supreme Court to annul the procedures that resulted in Tinubu and Abubakar emerging as the candidates for their respective political parties.

Similarly, five residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are currently asking the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to stop Tinubu’s inauguration as Nigeria’s President on May 29.

The five applicants who declared themselves as FCT registered voters – Jeffery Ucheh, Osang Paul Anyaegbunam Okoye, Chibuike Nwachukwu and David Adzer – said Tinubu should not be sworn in as President for failing to secure up to 25 per cent votes in the FCT during the presidential election.

They said Tinubu’s failure to secure 25 per cent in the nation’s capital is a valid reason to stop his inauguration.

They are also asking for an extension of the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari pending the determination of the petitions before the Presidential Election Petition Court.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Tinubu and Shettima will be sworn in as President and Vice President on May 29 for a tenure of four years.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here