The Supreme Court on Friday gave a judicial seal of approval for the inauguration of President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Vice President-elect Kashim Shettima to proceed on Monday, May 29, when it dismissed a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), seeking their disqualification from the 2023 presidential election. This case premised on double
The Supreme Court on Friday gave a judicial seal of approval for the inauguration of President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Vice President-elect Kashim Shettima to proceed on Monday, May 29, when it dismissed a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), seeking their disqualification from the 2023 presidential election.
This case premised on double nomination of the Vice President-elect was the known last hurdle standing between the winner of the February presidential election and his being sworn in on May 29. It created a lot of apprehensions in the polity because the Supreme Court is the final court in the land. Nowhere to appeal to after the Supreme Court.
Delivering its judgement on Friday, the apex court held that the PDP’s suit praying disqualification of Senator Tinubu and Senator Shetima on ground of alleged double nomination by Senator Shetima was grossly lacking in merit and dismissed it. The Apex court also awarded a N2 million cost against the PDP.
Justice Adamu Jauro who delivered the lead judgment slammed a fine of N2M on PDP for poke – nosing into the internal affairs of the All Progressives Congress(APC) in the conduct of its primary elections and nomination of its candidates.
Justice Jauro agreed with Senator Tinubu’s lawyer, Prince Fagbemi SAN that PDP acted as busy body and meddlesome interloper in the ways and manners it dabbled into APC’S affairs unjustly.
The Apex Court held that apart from the fact that PDP lacked requisite jurisdiction to institute the suit, the party also failed to provide scintilla of evidence that Senator Shetima engaged in double nomination.
According to the Justices,the claim of PDP on the alleged double nomination of the Vice President-elect was described as most unfortunate and a clear deliberate mischief to mislead the Court and the country.
The Supreme Court also agreed with Prince Fagbemi SAN that no matter the pains of PDP on how APC conducted it’s primary election and nominated its candidates, PDP must remain an onlooker.
“It is abundantly clear that the Appellant (PDP) in the totality of its position in the instant case, is peeping and poke nosing into the affairs of another party as a busy body and meddlesome interloper”
The Court held that the action of PDP was painful because it used the social media to set a booby trap for the Supreme Court to blackmail it. “This is most unfortunate, unwarranted and uncalled for”, they stressed.
Yet Another Hurdle to Cross for Tinubu
But it is not yet Uhuru to the President elect, his Vice and the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the Federal High Court, Abuja Division also sat on another suit brought before it, seeking to stall the said inauguration fixed for May 29, 2023. This is contrary to speculations that the Federal High Court had given instruction to Courts under its jurisdiction not to entertain any suit in connection with the swearing-in of Asiwaju Tinubu as President.
The pending case of five residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) seeking a determination of Section 134 (2)(b) of the Nigerian Constitution on any candidate in the February 25 presidential election who did not fulfil the requirements of the 25 per cent of the votes in the FCT is holding today.
The residents represented by Anyaegbunam Ubaka Okoye, David Aondover Adzer, Jeffrey Oheobeh Ucheh, Osang Paul and Chibuke Nwachukwu are seeking an order of court restraining the Chief Justice of Nigeria and any judicial officer and/or any authority or persons from swearing in any candidate in the February 25 presidential election as president or vice president.
They also want an order of the court “setting aside or suspending any declaration and/or issuance of a certificate of return to any candidate in the February 25th presidential election in the country or having been elected save and except it is judicially determined with finality that such candidate fulfilled the conditions stated at Section 134(2)(b) of the Constitution.”
Not leaving anything to chance, the legal team of the President-elect led by Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) split itself into two to enable it represent their clients at the Supreme Court and the Federal High Court.
Specifically, Prince Fagbemi (SAN) was at the Federal High Court, where he was canvassing legal arguments to ensure that the inauguration of his client was not stalled by the court, while some of his juniors including Mr. Omosanya Popoola Esq. are at the apex court to take the judgement.
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