The supreme court has dismissed the suit seeking the disqualification of Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima as presidential and vice-presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
A five-member panel of the supreme court held on Friday that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lacked the locus standi to institute the suit saying the PDP is not a member of the APC.
The 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.
The party alleged that Shettima was still the APC’s candidate for Borno central senatorial district on July 14 when he accepted the nomination for vice-presidential candidate.
However, the respondents said Shettima’s senatorial nomination was dropped on July 6, 2022.
The respondents said the suit was statute barred, having been filed 15 days after the cause of action instead of 14 days as required by law.
They also averred that the issue being contested is an internal party affair and that the appellants lacked locus standi to institute the suit.
But the appellants insisted that section 284(14)(c) of the constitution gives them the right to institute the suit as it is not an internal party affair, rather, a breach of the Electoral Act.
In its judgment, the apex court held that section 284(14)(c) of the constitution does not extend to a party poking into the affairs of another party no matter how pained and disgruntled it may be.
In a unanimous judgment, the court held that the appellant failed to show documentary evidence that the 4th respondent ( Shettima) was a candidate of double nomination.
There are exhibits before the court that the 4th respondent withdrew his nomination or candidature for the senate before accepting the nomination of the vice president
The 4th respondent did the needful before accepting the nomination of the vice president in line with section 31 of the electoral act
The case of Uche Nwosu cited by the plaintiff is not applicable, it was a case of two political parties, nominating one person for a particular position.
“The position of the law has always been that no political party can challenge the nomination of a candidate of another political party,” Adamu Jauro, who read the lead judgment, said.
“The position did not change in section 285(14)(c) of the constitution. No matter pained or disgruntled a political party is with the way and manner another political party is conducting or has conducted its affairs concerning its nomination of candidates for any position, it must keep mum and remain an onlooker for he lacks locus standi to challenge such nomination in court.
“Section 285(14)(c) of the constitution only allows a political party to challenge the decisions and activities of INEC disqualifying its own candidate from participating in an election.”