The Supreme Court has ruled that the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu was eligible to contest the February 25 presidential election
In its judgement delivered on Friday, the apex court, in a unanimous decision by a five-member panel, held that the appeal filed by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, challenging the legality of Tinubu’s candidacy, lacked merit.
PDP had told the court that Shettima was nominated twice, both for the Borno Central Senatorial seat and for the Vice Presidential position.
The opposition party argued that Shettima’s dual nomination was in gross breach of the provisions of Sections 29(1), 33, 35 and 84(1) and (2) of the Electoral Act, 2022, as amended.
Consequently, aside from praying the court to nullify Tinubu and Shettima’s candidacy, the Appellant equally applied for an order to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to expunge their names from the list of nominated or sponsored candidates that were eligible to contest the presidential poll.
But the apex court, in its lead judgement delivered by Justice Adamu Jauro, held that PDP lacked the locus standi (legal right) to interfere in the affairs of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, which nominated both Tinubu and Shettima for the presidential election.
The apex court upheld the concurrent decisions of the Court of Appeal and the Federal High Court in Abuja, which earlier dismissed PDP’s case.
It agreed with the Respondents that section 285 (14) (c ) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, and section 149 of the Electoral Act, 2022, did not confer the locus standi (legal right) to challenge the candidature of Shettima on the ground of double nomination.
The apex court held that section 84 of the Electoral Act only empowered an aspirant that participated in the primary election of a political party, to challenge the nomination of a candidate by the party.
It held that the PDP failed to establish the injury it suffered as a result of the nomination by the APC, stressing that the law did not permit a political party to dabble in the domestic affair of another political party.