The Supreme Court has dismissed a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking the disqualification of the president- elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, vice president-elect, Sen Kashim Shettima, as candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a unanimous judgement delivered by Justice Adamu Jauro, the apex court held that the PDP has no locus standi (legal right) to file a legal action against an internal affairs of the APC.
Justice Jauro held that the appellant, having not participated in the primary election of the APC, has no legal right to challenge the nomination of the presidential and vice presidential candidates of the party for the 2023 general elections.
He held that the constitution does not allow a political party to delve into the internal affairs of another political party, describing the PDP as a meddlesome interloper and busy body to have filed the suit.
The apex court also held that evidence before it showed that Shettima duly withdrew as the candidate of the APC for Borno Central senatorial election on July 6, 2022.
According to Justice Jauro, “whichever angle, this appeal is viewed, it is frivolous and liable to be dismissed.”
The court subsequently dismissed the appeal for lacking in merit.
The court also slammed a N2 million fine against the PDP in favour of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), APC, Tinubu and Shettima, who were the 1st to 4th respondents in the appeal.
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 as vice presidential candidate and Borno Central senatorial candidate at the same time contravened the law.
The Court of Appeal in Abuja had earlier 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 urged the appellate court to reverse the January 13 judgement of 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 had in a unanimous judgement held that PDP failed to establish its locus standi to institute the legal action and slammed a N5 million fine on the opposition party.
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