Appeal Court Makes Crucial Decision in PDP’s Case Against Tinubu, Shettima

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Peter Obi petition against Tinubu, at Presidential Election Petition Court
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Appeal Court Dismisses PDP’s Case Against Tinubu, Shettima

 

A case by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asking for Bola Tinubu and Kassim Shettima to be disqualified from running for president and vice president, respectively, in the All Progressives Congress (APC) election on February 25 has been rejected by the Court of Appeal Abuja.

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The Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed the PDP’s lawsuit filed on January 13 on the grounds that the PDP lacked locus standi to bring the case, and the PDP had petitioned the appellate court to overturn that decision.

 

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A three-member Court of Appeal panel led by Justice James Abundaga ruled unanimously that the PDP had failed to establish its locus standi.

 

Justice Abundaga concurred with the arguments made by the respondents’ attorneys, including Thomas Ojo of Lateef Fagbemi and Co, who characterised the PDP as a busy body that dabbled in APC internal affairs.

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the APC, Tinubu, and Shettima are the respondents in the appeal.

 

The trial court’s determination that the PDP had failed to establish its locus standi was correct, according to Justice Abundaga.

 

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He then went on to uphold the decision of the Federal High Court, saying that the appellant had failed to disclose its locus standi and that, as a result, the appeal was unsuccessful and was hereby dismissed.

 

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Justice Abundaga fined J. O. Olotu, the appellant’s solicitor, N5 million in costs.

 

The PDP claimed that Shettima’s selection as Tinubu’s running mate violated Sections 29(1), 33, 35, and 84(1)(2) of the Electoral Act of 2022 in the lawsuit it filed on July 28, 2022, challenging the legitimacy of the Tinubu/Shettima ticket for the 2023 presidential election (as amended).

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Shettima was nominated twice, according to the PDP, breaking the law by being nominated for both the vice presidential nomination and the Borno Central senatorial seat.

 

The PDP also petitioned the court for an order declaring that Tinubu, Shettima, and the APC were ineligible to run in the presidential election scheduled for February 25.

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Additionally, it asked the court to issue an order directing INEC to strike their names from the list of candidates who are qualified to run for office.

 

The defendants urged the court to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction in their preliminary objection.

 

They argued that the plaintiff lacked locus standi to bring the lawsuit because it always contested APC decisions and candidate nominations, which fell under the purview of the party’s internal affairs and were therefore outside the purview of the court’s jurisdiction.

 

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