Supreme Court to Deliver Judgment in PDP’s Case Against Shettima’s Double Nomination Friday - 9japarrot


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Tuesday 23 May 2023

Supreme Court to Deliver Judgment in PDP’s Case Against Shettima’s Double Nomination Friday


By Nurat Uthman 

The Supreme Court, on Monday, fixed May 26, 2023 to deliver judgment in an appeal brought before it by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against Bola Tinubu and Alhaji Kashim Shettima of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

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

While  the counsel to the APC, Mr Babatunde Ogala (SAN) asked the court to strike out the case since the 180 days stipulated by law to hear the case had elapsed, Mr Joe Agim (SAN), who represented PDP argued that the issue of 180 days did not apply because the matter of double nomination was purely an illegality and because illegality cannot stand, the court had the right to entertain the matter.

He said the apex court would determine whether there was double nomination and whether they had locus standi (legal right) to do so.

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

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

The Court of Appeal, in Abuja, had 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, in 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.

The three-member panel of Justices of the Court of Appeal held in the unanimous judgment that the PDP failed to establish its locus standi to institute the legal action.

Justice James Abundaga, who agreed with the submissions of lawyers to the respondents, including Thomas Ojo of Lateef Fagbemi and Co, that the PDP was a busy body, who dabbled into issues that were internal affairs of the APC, 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,” the appellate court held and proceeded to affirm the judgment of the Federal High Court.

Justice Abundaga awarded N5 million cost against the counsel for the appellant, 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).

The party claimed that Shettima had double nominations and argued that Shettima’s nomination as a vice-presidential candidate as well as the candidate for the Borno Central Senatorial seat was in contravention of the law.

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