2023: Court Dismisses PDP’s Disqualification Suit Against Tinubu, Obi


An Abuja division of the federal high court has dismissed a suit seeking the disqualification of Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party and Bola Tinubu, as presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

NewsBeatng reports that the court on Monday dismissed the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1016/2022, filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Justice Donatus Okorowo held that the suit was unknown to law and hence, described it as “an abuse of court process.”

The PDP had filed the suit seeking to disqualify both candidates on the grounds that they replaced their running mates.

It prayed the court for a declaration that the duo are disqualified unless they contest alongside Doyin Okupe and Kabiru Masari, their previous running mates.

Delivering judgement, Justice Okorowo who dismissed the suit, said the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter as the suit did not disclose any reasonable cause of action against the respondents.

He said, “When a court finds out that a suit is an abuse of court process, the court has the right to dismiss it,”

NewsBeatng reports that Tinubu had earlier submitted the name of Kabiru Masari while Peter Obi submitted Doyin Okupe as running mates before the June 17 INEC deadline for submissions of running mate.

However, Tinubu and Obi later announced Kashim Shettima and Datti Baba-Ahmed, respectively, as their new vice presidential candidates.

This made PDP to drag the INEC, APC, LP and their candidates to court over the replacement of Vice Presidential candidates.
While PDP is the plaintiff in the suit, the respondents include: INEC, APC, LP, Tinubu, Obi, Doyin Okupe and Kabiru Masari.

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PDP  asked the court to compel INEC to prevent APC and LP presidential candidates from replacing their running mates.

The party also sought a declaration of the court for the disqualification of Tinubu and Obi if they fail to contest with their previous chosen running mates.

PDP had argued that the term placeholder was unknown to Nigerian law as the electoral act did not make provision for it nor does the 1999 constitution recognise it.

“The Electoral Act makes no provisions whatsoever for placeholder or temporary running mates. The acts of the 2nd (APC), 3rd (Tinubu), 5th (Labour Party ) and 6th (Obi) defendants in nominating and forwarding the names of the 4th (Masari) and 7th (Okupe) defendants as running mates for the 2023 Presidential elections is valid and subsisting,” the party said.

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