The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a suit by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the alleged double nomination of the Vice President-elect, Kassim Shettima.
The Court agreed with the lower courts that the PDP lacks the locus standi to institute such a case.
Reading the judgment, Adamu Jauro noted that the PDP acted as a meddlesome interloper and a busybody as it is an internal affair of the APC.
A sum of two million naira (N2,000,000) was awarded against the PDP, even as the suit was dismissed for lacking merit.
The Justices further held that the attitude of the appellant PDP amounts to misleading the court, describing the move as “sad”.
Shettima withdrew his Senate nomination on July 6, 2022, and was subsequently replaced. At this point, he was no longer a candidate for the Senate, and as such, his position as vice president did not constitute a multiple nomination breach.
In the case of Uche Nwosu, which the PDP relied on, the Supreme Court Justices reminded them that they made the decision at that time and are fully aware of the details.
In his case, Uche Nwosu was nominated by two political parties for different positions. They held that the suit of the PDP was bound to fail right from the trial court, to the Court of Appeal, and to the Supreme Court.
The Justices further held that the action of the PDP was painful as it used social media to set a trap for the Apex Court to blackmail it, describing this situation as unfortunate and uncalled for.
According to the judges, a political party has no right to challenge the action of another party or the decision of INEC with respect to another party.
They added that for a person to have locus standi to challenge the nomination process of a political party, the person must be a neutral person, an aspirant to that position, and a member of the party.
The justices held that no matter the pains of the PDP over how the APC conducted its primary elections and nominated its candidate, the PDP must remain an onlooker.
They also reminded the PDP of the same issue in 1999, when Atiku Abubakar was nominated for the seat of governor but later moved on to become the vice presidential candidate for Olusegun Obasanjo.
In that case, Atiku’s running mate, Boni Haruna, took over the governorship nomination. INEC wanted to conduct a fresh election then, but the party kicked against it until it got to the Supreme Court.
The court asked the opposition party rhetorically what had changed since 1999.
In its suit, the PDP claimed that Shettima’s nomination as Tinubu’s running mate was in breach of the provisions of sections 29(1), 33, 36, and 84(1)(2) of the Electoral Act 2022; however, the court in its ruling stressed that the opposition party had no case.
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