The Supreme Court has set May 26 as the date for delivering its verdict on the alleged double nomination of vice president-elect Kashim Shettima, a case brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
News About Nigeria reports that the judgement, just three days before the presidential inauguration, will determine whether Mr. Shettima can be sworn in as vice president or if his candidacy will be invalidated.
If he is disqualified, this could disrupt the swearing-in of Bola Tinubu as president, as they ran together on a joint ticket.
During the proceedings, senior lawyer Joe Agim argued that the All Progressives Congress (APC) had previously admitted Mr. Shettima’s double nomination at the appellate court, despite the party denying the allegation.
Agim referred to a precedent case involving Uche Nwosu against ADP and contended that the respondents did not deserve to speak or make any argument on the matter of double nomination.
He firmly stated that there should be consequences for such actions and emphasized that it should never occur in the country.
The APC lawyer, Omosanya Popoola, countered his colleague’s argument, stating that the motion lacked merit. Popoola pointed out that the Federal High Court had ruled that the PDP had no legal standing to bring up the matter, and this judgment was subsequently upheld by the Court of Appeal.
He further argued that the issue, being a pre-election matter, had exceeded the time limit for challenging it, as the PDP had raised the matter at the Supreme Court more than 180 days after the alleged offense.
Agim, however, argued that the number of days elapsed was not a valid point, citing the precedent set by Uche Nwosu’s case, where the Supreme Court had previously stated that “time does not run” when dealing with matters of double nomination.
The PDP, having previously lost the case in the trial and appellate courts, appealed to the Supreme Court to exercise its powers and assume jurisdiction over the matter.
They requested that the court set aside the previous judgments made by the lower courts and reevaluate their arguments.
The core issue at hand is Mr. Shettima’s simultaneous nominations for the vice presidency and the Borno Central senatorial seat, which the PDP claims is a violation of the provisions of the Electoral Act.
The PDP contends that it is illegal to compete for two positions concurrently and alleges that Mr. Shettima’s senatorial nomination was not withdrawn from the electoral commission.
The five-member panel of justices, led by Inyang Okoro, has announced that the Court will deliver its judgment on Friday, May 26.
Meanwhile, preparations are underway in the APC camp for the presidential inauguration scheduled for May 29, where Mr. Shettima is expected to take the vice presidential oath of office, unless the Supreme Court’s judgment rules otherwise.