Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the appeal by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking the disqualification of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in the February 25 presidential election over alleged double nomination of his Vice-President-elect, Senator kashim Shettima.
The apex court, in a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Adamu Jauro, held that the case of the PDP was incompetent and lacking in merit because it lacked the necessary legal authority to initiate the suit in the first place.
According to the apex court, Section 285(14)(c) of the Constitution does not permit a political party to interfere in the internal affairs of another political party. It is therefore the position of the Supreme Court that the PDP not being a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) cannot challenge how the APC produced its candidates for an election.
The apex court also pointed out that the case of Nwosu relied upon by the appellant was not applicable because Nwosu was nominated by two different political parties while in the instant appeal, Shettima was nominated by just one political party, the APC.
The five-member panel led by Justice John Okoro, accordingly upheld the judgment of the Court of Appeal and the Federal High Court both in Abuja, which dismissed the appellant’s case for lack of locus standi.
Besides, the apex court held that the case of the appellant has become statute barred having run beyond the 180 days permitted by law hence, it cannot delve into the merit of the case.
Specifically, the PDP had sought the disqualification of the President-elect, Tinubu, and Vice-President-elect, Senator Kashim Shettima, over alleged double nomination; an act which they say violates the electoral laws.
The appellant had anchored its appeal on the claims that the appellate court erred in law when it dismissed its appeal and affirmed the judgment of a trial court which held that the suit was incompetent and lacking in merit.
PDP is claiming that the APC breached the law when it nominated Shettima as senatorial candidate for Borno Central and as vice-presidential candidate.
But, the apex court held that PDP cannot challenge the nomination of Shettima as vice-presidential candidate because it lacked the necessary locus standi to do so, having not been an aspirant, a member of APC, not shown any harm it suffered as a result of the nomination of Shettima as VP candidate.
According to the apex court, “No matter how manifestly pained a person is about the process of an election, it is only a person with locus standi that can file a suit against it.”
It described the PDP as a busybody and a meddlesome interloper because it did not disclose any nexus between it and the action of the APC.
The apex court besides, affirmed the N2 million cost awarded against the appellant in favour of the respondents, which are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), APC, Tinubu and shettima.