Suit seeking the disqualification of Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima as presidential and vice-presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
A five-member panel of the supreme court held on Friday that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lacked the locus standi to institute the suit.
The panel said the PDP is not a member of the APC.
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.
In its ruling the Apex court agrees with the lower courts that the PDP lacks the locus Standi to institute the case.
Justice Adamu Jauro who read the Judgement, added that the PDP acted as meddlesome Interloper and a busy body as it is an internal affair of the APC.
A sum of Two Million Naira was awarded against the PDP, even as the suit was dismissed for lacking in merit.
The Justices further held that the attitude of the appellant (PDP), amounts to misleading the court, describing the move as “sad”.
Shettima withdrew his senate nomination on 6th July 2022 and was subsequently replaced. At this point, he was no longer a candidate for the Senate, and as such his position as vice president, did not constitute a multiple nomination breach.
On the case of Uche Nwosu which the PDP relied on, the Supreme Court Justices reminded them that they made the decision as at that time and are fully aware of the details.
Uche Nwosu in his case, got nominated by two political parties for different positions. They held that the the suit of the PDP, was bound to fail right from the trial court, to the Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court.
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.
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 Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and its candidate in the 2023 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar had approached the court to seek the disqualification of Tinubu and Shettima over the contending issue of double nominations, claiming that same violated Electoral Act.
The appellant based its appeal on the grounds that the appellate court erred in law when it dismissed its appeal and upheld a trial court’s decision that the litigation was incompetent and without merit.
The ruling party broke the law by choosing Shettima as the senatorial candidate for Borno Central and vice-presidential candidate, according to the PDP.
However, the expected verdict is generating considerable concern among Nigerians.
Tinubu is set to be sworn in as Nigeria’s next president on May 29, but the Supreme Court’s decision could make or break the ceremony.