The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the eligibility of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the President-elect from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), to run in the presidential election held on February 25.
News About Nigeria reports that the court dismissed the appeal, stating that the PDP was interfering in the internal affairs of the APC without justification. Justice Adamu Jauro, delivering the lead judgment, emphasized that the PDP lacked the legal standing to initiate such an action.
Furthermore, Justice Jauro pointed out that the PDP failed to provide any evidence to support their claim that Senator Kashim Shettima, the Vice President-elect, had been nominated for two different positions, which the PDP argued was a violation of electoral laws.
The PDP’s appeal, labeled SC/CV/501/2023, aimed to disqualify Tinubu and Shettima from the election.
The PDP alleged that the APC and Tinubu’s nomination of Shettima as a vice presidential candidate was a clear violation of Sections 29(1), 33, 35, 84(1), and (2) of the Electoral Act, 2022, as amended.
In addition to seeking the nullification of Tinubu and Shettima’s candidacy, the PDP also requested an order for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remove their names from the list of eligible candidates for the presidential election.
The respondents challenged the PDP’s legal right to bring the case and questioned the court’s jurisdiction to intervene in matters related to the nomination of candidates for an election, which they argued were internal affairs of a political party.
In its unanimous judgment, the Supreme Court found that the PDP’s appeal lacked substance.
The court determined that the PDP’s involvement in the matter was unwarranted and characterized them as busybodies and meddlesome interlopers.
Justice Jauro emphasized that the PDP failed to present any credible evidence to support their claim of double nomination.
The dismissal of the appeal by the Supreme Court signifies a victory for the ruling APC and its President-elect, Tinubu.
It solidifies Tinubu’s eligibility to assume the presidency and affirms the legality of his and Shettima’s candidacy in the presidential election.
The judgment also reinforces the principle that political parties have the autonomy to handle their internal affairs, including the nomination of candidates.
The Supreme Court’s ruling has settled the dispute over Tinubu’s eligibility, bringing clarity and finality to the matter.