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The court dismisses Tinubu and Obi’s PDP lawsuit against the replacement deputies

The court dismisses Tinubu and Obi’s PDP lawsuit against the replacement deputies

On Monday, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) lost a lawsuit it had brought against Bola Tinubu and Peter Obi, the respective presidential candidates for the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Labour Party (LP). 

In a ruling, Justice Donatus Okorowo stated that the lawsuit was unlawful and that it was, therefore “an abuse of the court process.” 

Okorowo held that the lawsuit did not disclose any plausible cause of action against the respondents and that the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the case. 

The court has the authority to dismiss a lawsuit if it determines that there has been an abuse of the legal system, he added. 

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the PDP sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the APC, Tinubu, Kabiru Masari, LP, Obi, and Doyin Okupe as the first through eighth respondents in a lawsuit with the filing number FHC/ABJ/CS/1016/2022. 

The PDP had urged the court to order INEC to stop Tinubu and Obi from choosing Sen. Kashim Shettima and Sen. Datti Baba-Ahmed as their running mates, respectively. 

The PDP is also asking the court to rule that Tinubu and Obi are unable to run for office unless they do so with Masari and/or Okupe, their former running mates. 

The PDP requested an order preventing the INEC from substituting Tinubu and Obi as running partners in the original summons with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1016/2022. 

According to NAN, Tinubu nominated Masari as a stand-in running mate or placeholder to meet the INEC deadline on June 17. 

Okupe, Obi’s campaign manager, has also been named as a temporary running partner. However, INEC provided a grace time to change their names of roughly one month. 

After several weeks of deliberations, Masari and Okupe resigned, and Tinubu and Obi respectively nominated Shettima and Baba-Ahmed. 

However, the PDP asked the court to decide whether Tinubu and Obi are bound by the submission of Masari and Okupe, respectively, as their running mates based on the combined interpretation of Section 142(1) of the constitution, Sections 29(1), 31, and 33 of the Electoral Act 2022, and INEC’s timetable. 

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The party further urged the court to decide whether “the first defendant (INEC) can validly accept any change or substitution of the 4th (Masari) and 7th (Okupe) defendants as running mates of the 3rd (APC) and 6th (Labour Party) defendants by the combined interpretation of Section 142(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Sections 29(1), 31, 33 of the Electoral Act 2022.” 

The PDP requested five reliefs, including a declaration that Tinubu and Obi must abide by their submission following the interpretation of Section 142(1) of the Constitution, Sections 29(1), 31, and 33 of the Electoral Act 2022, and INEC’s timetable.

The party requested that the court decide that Tinubu and Obi are both ineligible as soon as they change the names of their running partners. 

One of the reliefs is “A declaration that the 3rd (Tinubu) and 6th (Obi) cannot validly contest the 2023 Presidential election without the 4th (Masari) and 7th (Obi) respondents as their respective running mates, by the combined interpretation of Section 142(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Sections 29(1), 31, and 33 of the Electoral Act 2022, and the 1st defendant’s.

The PDP also predicated its case on the basis that Nigerian law does not recognize the term “placeholder.”

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