Supreme Court Dismisses PDP’s Lawsuit Against Shettima Candidacy, Confirms Tinubu’s Eligibility for Presidential Election
Supreme Court Validates Tinubu’s Eligibility for Presidential Election, Dismisses PDP’s Suit Against Shettima’s CandidacyThe Supreme Court has upheld the eligibility of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the President-elect, to participate in the presidential election held on February 25. In a unanimous decision by a five-member panel on Friday, the apex court ruled that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) appeal challenging the legality of Tinubu’s candidacy lacked merit.
The PDP had filed an appeal marked SC/CV/501/2023, seeking Tinubu’s disqualification on the grounds that the Vice President-elect, Senator Kashim Shettima, allowed himself to be nominated for multiple constituencies ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The PDP argued that Shettima’s dual nomination, for both the Borno Central Senatorial seat and the Vice Presidential position, violated several provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.In addition to requesting the nullification of Tinubu and Shettima’s candidacy, the PDP also sought an order compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remove their names from the list of eligible candidates for the presidential poll.
However, the Supreme Court, through its lead judgement delivered by Justice Adamu Jauro, held that the PDP lacked the legal standing to interfere in the affairs of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which nominated both Tinubu and Shettima. The apex court upheld the decisions of the Court of Appeal and the Federal High Court in Abuja, which had previously dismissed the PDP’s case.
The Supreme Court agreed with the respondents that the relevant sections of the Constitution and the Electoral Act did not confer the legal right for the PDP to challenge Shettima’s candidature based on double nomination. It emphasized that the law only empowers an aspirant who participated in a political party’s primary election to contest the nomination of a candidate by the party.
The court held that the PDP failed to demonstrate any harm suffered as a result of the APC’s nomination, noting that political parties are not permitted to interfere in the internal affairs of other parties.
The Supreme Court criticized the PDP for filing what it deemed a frivolous appeal, capable of bringing the judiciary into disrepute.
Additionally, the court ordered the PDP to pay N2 million in damages to the respondents.
The Supreme Court’s decision concluded that the appeal was unnecessary and warned against similar suits in the future, describing it as a waste of judicial time.