2023 Election Headline Judiciary News Nigeria

Atiku Vs Tinubu: Supreme Court fix May 26 for ruling

The Supreme Court has fixed the 26th of May, for judgment in an appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, praying for the disqualification of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu and the Vice President-elect, Kassim Shettima.

A Five-member panel of Justices led by Justice John Okoro fixed the date after all the parties adopted and argued their briefs in the matter.

Also, the party prayed the court to reverse the Court of Appeal judgment, led by Justice James Abundaga, which held that the party failed to establish its locus standing.

When the matter came up, Counsel for the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr Babatunde Ogala urged the court to strike out the case since the 180 days stipulated by the law to hear the case has elapsed.

Counsel for the PDP, Mr. Joe Agim argued that the issue of the 180 days does not apply because the matter of double nomination was purely an illegality, hence, the court had the right to entertain the matter.

The counsel for the first respondent, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Mr Adebiyi Adetosoye asked that the case be dismissed and heavy costs awarded against the appellant.   

The Court of Appeal had dismissed the July 28, 2022 appeal filed by the PDP seeking the disqualification of Tinubu and Shettima as the presidential and vice-presidential candidates of the APC in the February 25 election, on the grounds that the PDP lacked locus standing to have instituted the suit..

The PDP, in the suit challenged the validity of the Tinubu/Shettima ticket for the 2023 presidential election, arguing that Shettima’s nomination as the running mate was in breach of the provisions of Sections 29(1), 33, 35 and 84{1)}(2)} of the Electoral Act, 2022 (as amended).

It claimed that Shettima had double nominations, arguing that Shettima’s nomination as a vice-presidential candidate as well as the candidate for the Borno Central Senatorial seat contravened the law.

Reporting by Ifeoma Nwovu; Editing by Julian Osamoto