The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s lawsuit asking for Bola Tinubu to be disqualified from running in the most recent presidential election has been dismissed by the Supreme Court.
Inferentially, the lawsuit attempted to prevent the incoming president from taking the oath of office on May 29, alleging that Kashim Shettima’s appointment as Mr. Tinubu’s running mate for the February 2023 presidential election was improper.
The lawsuit was rejected by a five-person panel on Friday that was chaired by Inyang Okoro.
Adamu Jauro, a member of the panel who gave the lead decision, ruled that the PDP lacked the legal authority to bring a lawsuit on an APC internal matter.
The candidacy of another political party cannot be contested, it should be emphasized.
“A political party lacks the right to challenge the activities of INEC on account of the nomination of another political party’s candidate.
“No court has the jurisdiction to entertain such a suit by another party,” the court held.
Agreeing with the Court of Appeal’s earlier judgement dismissing the suit, Mr Jauro said, “I am in complete agreement with the Appeal Court that the PDP lacks the right to file this suit.
“The appellant was unable to point to where the lower court determined the substantive issues on its merit.
“It is clear that the suit is statute-barred. Hence this court has no power to delve into the merit of the merit of the suit.”
The judge added: “It is frivolous and bound to fail fraught with manifest malady. It has been a waste of precious time and judicial energy.
“Counsel should do better to advise their clients to desist from suit frivolous matters.
“The appeal is grossly lacking in merit and it is hereby dismissed.”
The court granted the respondents’ request for N2 million in costs against PDP.
The ruling was rendered three days before Mr. Tinubu was sworn in as president of Nigeria.
Prior to the president-elect’s inauguration on May 29, outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari had bestowed Mr. Tinubu with the country of Nigeria’s highest honor, the GCFR, on Thursday. Vice President-elect Kashim Shettima was also given the GCON, the second-highest national honor.
The PDP’s lawsuit was filed before the presidential election in February 2023. In order to contest Mr. Tinubu’s win after the February election, the party filed an election petition case before the presidential election court. This case is different.
On July 28, 2022, the party filed a lawsuit at the Federal High Court in Abuja contesting the Tinubu/Shettima candidacy.
At the time of his selection as the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) vice-presidential candidate last year, Mr. Shettima was already the party’s senatorial candidate for Borno Central Senatorial District.
When his party picked him as its vice-presidential candidate, the PDP claimed that he had not yet withdrew his senatorial candidacy.
According to the opposition party, such multiple nominating of a person for elections to separate seats within an election cycle violated the restrictions of articles 29(1), 33, 35, and 84(1)(2) of the Electoral Act of 2022.
The complaint claims that the violation rendered the APC’s presidential ticket illegal. As a result, PDP requested a court injunction barring the APC and its candidates, Messrs. Tinubu and Shettima, from running in the 2023 presidential election.