- While dismissing the double nomination suit by the PDP, the Supreme Court accused the party of using social media to blackmail the court.
- The apex court, in a unanimous judgment held that the case of the PDP was incompetent and lacking in merit, adding that the party lacks locus standi to institute the case.
- It also accused the PDP of misleading the court, noting that Shettima withdrew his senate nomination on 6th July 2022 and was subsequently replaced.
The Supreme Court has condemned the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for allegedly setting a trap through social media to blackmail the apex court.
In a strongly worded statement, the court expressed deep disappointment and characterized the situation as both regrettable and unnecessary.
This was made known by the Justices of the apex court when they dismissed the suit by the PDP seeking the disqualification of the president-elect, Bola Tinubu, in the February 25 presidential election over the alleged double nomination of Kassim Shettima, the Vice President-elect.
The Supreme Court, in a unanimous judgment on Friday 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.
It agreed with the lower courts that the PDP lacks the locus standi to institute such a case, noting that the party acted as a meddlesome Interloper and a busybody as it is an internal affair of the APC.
Accuses PDP of misleading the court
The Supreme Court awarded the sum of N2 million against the PDP and held that their attitude amounts to misleading the court, describing the move as “sad”.
The apex court held that Shettima withdrew his senate nomination on 6th July 2022 and was subsequently replaced. At this point, he was no longer a candidate for the Senate, and as such his position as vice president, did not constitute a multiple nomination breach.
In the case of Uche Nwosu which the PDP relied on, the Supreme Court Justices reminded them that they made the decision at that time and are fully aware of the details.
Uche Nwosu in his case, got nominated by 2 political parties for different positions, while Shettima was nominated by only the APC.
They held that the suit of the PDP was bound to fail right from the trial court, to the Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court.
You can’t interfere in another political party
The Supreme Court judges pointed out that a political party has no right to challenge the action of another party, or the decision of INEC, in respect of another party.
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.
They added that for a person to have locus standi to challenge the nomination process of a political party, the person must be a neutral person and an aspirant to that position, and a member of the party.
The justices held that no matter the pains of the PDP on how the APC conducted its primary elections and nominated its candidate, the PDP must remain as an onlooker.
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.
What you should know
The PDP had in its suit, claimed that Shettima’s nomination as Tinubu’s running mate was in breach of the provisions of sections 29(1), 33, 36, and 84 (1)(2) of the Electoral Act 2022.
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.
PDP is claiming that the APC breached the law when it nominated Shettima as the senatorial candidate for Borno Central and as the vice-presidential candidate.