Tribunal dismisses APM’s petition against Tinubu, Shettima

The Presidential Election Petition Court has struck out the Allied Peoples Movement petitions against President Bola Tinubu and his Vice President, Kashim Shettima.

The PEPC dismissed as incompetent, the case of the APM, filed to nullify Tinubu’s election.

The court held that issues the APM raised in its petition contained pre-election matters that could only be determined by the Federal High Court.

The verdict was read aloud by the panel’s chairman, Justice Haruna Tsammani, who accepted preliminary objections brought by all of the Respondents to contest the petition’s competence.

Justice Haruna said that because the petition hinged on President Tinubu’s qualification or lack thereof to contest the presidential election on February 25, the APM should have gone to court within 14 days of Tinubu being nominated by the All Progressives Congress, APC.

He argued that because the issue was pre-election, the APM lacked locus standi to dispute Tinubu’s candidacy.

Furthermore, Justice Tsammani stated that the Supreme Court previously ruled that a political party does not have the authority to challenge a nomination made by another political party.

He claimed that sections 131 and 237 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, provided for the qualification or disqualification of candidates in elections.
He argued that because the cause of action was pre-election, the APM lacked locus standi to dispute Tinubu’s candidacy.

The court added that the APM’s principal complaint was about Tinubu’s alleged invalid nomination of Kashim Shettima as his running partner.

“It is clear that the claim of qualification it non qualification of the the 3rd Respondent (Tinubu) centered on alleged invalid nomination of the 4th Respondent (Shettima).

“It is a pre-election matter,” Justice Tsammani held.

He also ruled that section 84(3) of the Electoral Act of 2022 prohibited political parties from imposing qualification criteria on candidates unless expressly authorized by the constitution.

Sections 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 185, and 187 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, settled the problem of qualification and nomination of a candidate for an election, according to the court.

It ruled that if an election had already been place and the results were declared, a candidate’s qualification could no longer be contested under sections 131 and 137 of the Constitution.

The court ruled that because the APM did not file a challenge to President Tinubu’s nomination within the constitutionally mandated time frame, its lawsuit had been statute barred.

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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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