Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) suit seeking the disqualification of Bola Tinubu and Kassim Shettima from the 2023 general elections.
Justice Ekwo, delivering judgement, dismissed the suit on the grounds that the PDP lacked standing to file suit.
Justice Ekwo, who determined that the case was governed by the principle of issue estoppel, characterised the lawsuit as an abuse of the judicial system.
In its originating summons, the PDP challenged Tinubu’s eligibility to run for president as an APC candidate in 2023 because Mr. Shettima’s nomination as his running mate violated Sections 29(1), 33, 35, and 841)(2) of the Electoral Act, 2022. (as amended).
It argued that Shettima’s nomination to run for vice president and the Borno Central senatorial seat violated the law.
The PDP sought an order disqualifying the APC, Tinubu, and Shettima from running in the Feb. 25 presidential election, as well as an order invalidating their candidature.
- Former Cross River APC Deputy Governorship Candidate Defects To PDP, Says ‘Power Must Change Hands
- BREAKING: Supreme Court Sacks PDP Senatorial Candidate
It also sought an order compelling INEC to remove the candidates’ names from its list of nominated or sponsored candidates eligible to compete in the election.
However, in their preliminary objection, the defendants urged the court to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction.
They argued that the PDP lacked the locus standi (legal standing) to file the lawsuit, which challenged the political party’s decision and nomination of candidates for the elections.
In addition, they argued that such an act was an APC internal matter, which is non-justiciable.
Justice Ekwo concurred with the defendants that the PDP lacked standing to file the suit.
According to him, the court lacks jurisdiction when there is no locus.
According to him, the court deemed the action inadmissible for lack of standing.
Ekwo opined that the PDP lacked standing to bring suit in this matter because it involved APC internal affairs.
Regarding the argument regarding the non-disclosure of the cause of action against the respondents, the judge stated that locus standi and a cause of action were related.
Therefore, he stated that since the PDP lacked standing, it had no cause of action against the defendants.
Justice Ekwo concurred with the defendants that the lawsuit constituted an abuse of the judicial system.
Consequently, Justice Ekwo dismissed the lawsuit as an abuse of the court system.