S/Court to deliver judgment May 26 in PDP suit against Tinubu, Shettima

Tinubu / Shettima / Atiku

The Supreme Court on Monday fixed Friday, May 26 to deliver judgment in an appeal by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against Sen. Ahmed Bola Tinubu and Alhaji Kashim Shettima of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

A five-member panel of Justices led by Justice John Okoro fixed the date after all the parties involved adopted and argued their briefs in the matter.

While Mr Babatunde Ogala SAN the Counsel to the APC asked the court to strike out the case since the 180 days stipulated by the law to hear the case has elapsed, Mr Joe Agim SAN, Counsel to PDP held otherwise.

Agim said that the issue of the 180 days does not apply because the matter of double nomination was purely an illegality and because illegality cannot stand the court has the right to entertain the matter.

He said the Supreme Court will determine whether there was double nomination and also whether they have local standi.

“They have done that before, they did it in the case of Nwosu and APC and they will do it again’’, Agim added.

The counsels to the first respondent, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr Adebiyi Adetosoye and Ogala  representing the APC, respectively, asked that the case be dismissed and heavy costs awarded against the appellant.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has dismissed the appeal filed by the PDP seeking the disqualification of Tinubu and Shettima as the presidential and vice-presidential candidates of the APC in the February 25 election.

The PDP had by their appeal marked: CA/ABJ/CV/108/2023 urged the appellate court to reverse the January 13 judgment by Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja which dismissed its suit on the grounds that the PDP lacked locus standi to have instituted the suit.

NAN reports that in the unanimous judgment, a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal, held, in the lead judgment that the PDP failed to establish its locus standi.

Justice James Abundaga, who agreed with the submissions of lawyers to the respondents, including Thomas Ojo of Lateef Fagbemi and Co, described the PDP as a busybody, who dabbled into issues that are internal affairs of the APC.

Respondents in the appeal are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the APC, Tinubu and Shettima.Justice Abundaga 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 Federal High Court.

Justice Abundaga awarded N5million cost against the appellant’s lawyer, J. O. Olotu.

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

They claimed that Shettima had double nominations, the PDP argued that Shettima’s nomination as a vice-presidential candidate as well as the candidate for the Borno Central Senatorial seat contravened the law.