The presidential election petition tribunal Wednesday dismissed the petition filed by the Allied People’s Movement (APM) against the election of President Bola Tinubu.
The Justice Haruna Tsammani led panel dismissed the petition while ruling in a preliminary objection filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the All Progressives Congress (APC), Tinubu, Shettima and Kabiru Masari, who were 1st to 5th respondents respectively in the matter.
Justice Haruna Tsammani, who read the ruling observed that the issue of qualification and disqualification of a candidate is a constitutional matter, adding that the issue of nomination does not flow from the grounds of disqualification as provided in the Constitution.
The five member panel agreed with the respondents that the petition was incompetent, lacking in merit, and an abuse of court processes on the grounds that the case was a pre-election matter.
The tribunal affirmed further that the case of the petitioner having been a pre-election matter ought to be filed at the Federal High Court and not before the tribunal.
Further to that, it added that even if the tribunal had powers to hear the case, it has already become statute barred, having not been filed within 14 days as prescribed by law.
The tribunal held: “Findings showed that the case of the APM was premised on the alleged unlawful nomination and sponsorship of the vice president, Kashim Shettima, which ought to be a pre-election matter,”
The tribunal agreed with the respondents that the suit was incompetent and that the petitioner lacked the necessary locus standi to file the case in the first place, since it did not participate in the primary election of the APC.
Also in a judgment in the main petition, the panel held that the petitioner failed to prove that Tinubu breached Section 35 of the Electoral Act, 2022, when he nominated Shettima as his Vice, adding that it was the president’s prerogative to choose his running mate.
While pointing out that Shettima did not knowingly present himself for double nomination, the tribunal held further that the case of the petitioner was faulty because Shettima never obtained any nomination form for the position of Vice President not contested any primary election for the position.
Subsequently, the apex court held that the issue of alleged double nomination has been dealt with by the Supreme Court which is the final court in the land and as such no other court can adjudicate in it.
The court held: “The petitioner failed to prove that Tinubu was not qualified to contest the February 25 presidential election on the grounds of double nomination”,