Nigerian Judiciary

PEPC: APM Proceeds, Refuses To Abandon Case Against Shettima And Masari Double Nomination

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INEC, TINUBU, SHETTIMA, APC, and MASARI had previously urged the APM to withdraw the case following the Supreme Court’s dismissal of a similar claim of Shettima’s double nomination by the PDP.

However, the APM requested time to review the Supreme Court’s decision, and approximately one month later stated, “We will proceed.” We have reviewed the ruling and determined that it will not prevent us from pursuing our case.” Today, they are advancing the case.

In its petition with the number CA/PEPC/04/2023, the APM argued that Tinubu’s candidature was invalidated when Mr. Masari, who had been chosen as the APC’s vice presidential candidate, dropped out. This was based on Sections 131(c) and 142 of the Constitution of 1999, as amended.

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The party argued that there was a lag of roughly three weeks between the time Tinubu allegedly replaced Masari with Senator Kashim Shettima and the time Masari, who was listed as the petition’s fifth respondent, declared his intention to withdraw.

Additionally, it was considered that Tinubu’s candidature had ended when he chose Shettima to succeed Masari.

Tinubu “was no longer in a position, constitutionally speaking, to nominate a running mate since he had ceased to be a presidential candidate of the 2nd Respondent having regard to the provisions of Section 142 of the 1999 Constitution” at the time Shettima was announced as the Vice Presidential candidate, the petitioner claims.

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“We are aware that the Supreme Court issued a ruling on this matter on Friday, May 23, in response to appeal no. SC/CV/501/2023. The parties involved were PDP vs. INEC and three Others, and the apex court considered and resolved all issues.

“We will confirm with the petitioners whether, in light of the Supreme Court’s decision, this petition will still be necessary,” he added.

In the meantime, the petitioner, through its attorney, Mr. Gideon Idiagbonya, stated that it was prepared to pursue its case against Tinubu to its logical conclusion.

Consequently, upon the resumption of proceedings on Wednesday, the party presented evidence to support its contention that Tinubu was ineligible to run for president.

Documents regarding Masari’s nomination by the APC as Tinubu’s running mate for the election were among the exhibits that the petitioner submitted as evidence through the witness.

In the interim, the tribunal presided over by Justice Tsammani postponed the case until July 14 to allow all parties to submit their final briefs of argument, following which the court will set a date for delivering its ruling.