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Supreme Court Upholds Tinubu’s Inauguration, PDP and LP Prepare for Legal Battle

In a significant development, the Supreme Court has rejected the lawsuit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking the disqualification of President-elect Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Vice President-elect Kashim Shettima. The PDP alleged that Tinubu and Shettima’s ticket in the 2023 presidential election should be invalidated due to a double nomination of Shettima as both the Borno Central Senatorial candidate and the vice-presidential candidate. The party argued that this dual nomination violated several provisions of the Electoral Act.However, the apex court, in a unanimous decision by a five-man panel, upheld the previous rulings of the Court of Appeal and the Federal High Court in Abuja, both of which had dismissed the case. The court maintained that the PDP had no legal right to interfere in the internal affairs of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which nominated Tinubu and Shettima as its candidates. It emphasized that political parties cannot meddle in the domestic affairs of other parties.Justice Adamu Jauro, delivering the lead judgment, declared the PDP’s appeal lacked merit. He criticized the party for filing a frivolous lawsuit and wasting the court’s time. The court also awarded damages of N2 million in favor of the respondents.Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar, from the PDP, expressed his determination to continue seeking justice through the election petition tribunal, despite the dismissal of the appeal. He reiterated his legal team’s commitment to proving that the election of Tinubu and Shettima was fraudulent and violated constitutional requirements.The PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, stated that the party would release a formal statement once they had thoroughly reviewed the judgment. Meanwhile, the Labour Party, which also filed a petition, stated that the Supreme Court’s decision would not affect their case, as they were focused on the election process and remained confident in their pursuit of justice.Festus Keyamo (SAN), the spokesman for the dissolved APC Presidential Campaign Council, hailed the Supreme Court’s judgment, emphasizing that Atiku and the PDP never had a strong case. Keyamo argued that the principle of law preventing parties from interfering in the internal affairs of others was well established. He also noted that Shettima had withdrawn his candidacy for the Borno senatorial election before being nominated as the vice-presidential candidate, which undermined the PDP’s arguments.In a related development, the Federal High Court in Abuja declined to issue an interim injunction to halt the swearing-in of President-elect Tinubu on May 29. The court ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the case and deemed it unconstitutional, frivolous, and vexatious. The plaintiffs, who alleged that Tinubu had lied about his qualifications and date of birth, were deemed “concerned citizens.” The court stated that only an aspirant, as per the Constitution, could challenge a candidate’s qualifications or nomination and that such matters should be addressed by the Court of Appeal.


Ademola Adeyemi

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