The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, on Friday, dismissed a suit by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking to disqualify the president-elect, Bola Tinubu, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and his running-mate, Kashim Shettima, from participating in the February 25 presidential election.
In the unanimous judgement of the Appellate court, delivered by Justice Danlami Senchi on the appeal marked: CA/ABJ/CV/108/2023, the court dismissed the appeal for lacking in merit.
Justice Senchi, who described the appellant as a meddlesome interloper, held that the court cannot be used to perform illegality.
According to the court, the PDP failed to disclose that it has the legal right to institute the action, adding that, “This appeal is of no merit and it is accordingly dismissed”.
The court awarded a fine of N5 million to be paid personally by counsel to the appellant.
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PDP, whose candidate, Atiku Abubakar, came second in the presidential election had contended that the APC candidate, Tinubu, who was declared the winner of the presidential contest, was legally ineligible to participate in the poll.
It told the court that the manner the APC and Tinubu nominated Shettima as a Vice Presidential candidate for the election, 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.
According to the PDP, Shettima, was nominated twice, both for the Vice Presidential position, as well as for Borno Central Senatorial seat, an action it argued contravened the law.
Aside from asking the court to nullify Tinubu and Shettima candidacy, the appellant further sought an order to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to expunge their names from the list of nominated or sponsored candidates eligible to contest the said election.
PDP prayed the appellate court to set aside the January 13 judgement of the Federal High Court in Abuja, which dismissed legal issues it raised against the candidacy of both Tinubu and Shettima and argued that the trial Judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo erred in law and arrived at an unjust conclusion that paved way for the two Respondents to participate in the presidential election.