Nigeria: Court Dismisses Suit Seeking to Bar Tinubu, Obi From Presidential Race

A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking the disqualification of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and his Labour Party (LP) counterpart, Peter Obi.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1016/2022, the PDP had challenged the legality of the substitution of the running mates for the APC and the Labour Party.

Accordingly, it prayed the court headed by Justice Donatus Okorowo to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to prevent Tinubu and Obi from replacing their running mates with Kashim Shettima and Datti Baba-Ahmed respectively.

The party asked the court to declare that Tinubu and Obi are disqualified unless they contest alongside their previous running mates – Kabiru Masari and Doyin Okupe.

The PDP averred that the Electoral Act 2022 did not make provision for a “place holder” or temporary running mate.

The party also asked the court to determine if “by the combined interpretation of Section 142(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sections 29(1), 31, 33 of the Electoral Act 2022, the first defendant (INEC) can validly accept any change or substitution of the 4th (Masari) and 7th (Okupe) defendants as running mates of the 3rd (APC) and 6th (Labour Party) defendants”.

Those listed as first to seventh respondents in the case are INEC, APC, Tinubu, Masari, Labour Party, Obi and Okupe.

In his judgement, Justice Okorowo held that the court lacks the jurisdiction to preside over the suit.

He said the suit does not only lack merit but is an also “abuse of court process.”

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