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Court dismisses PDP’s suit seeking Tinubu, Obi’s disqualification

By Sodiq Omolaoye and Ameh Ochojila, Abuja
20 September 2022   |   4:02 am
The Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday, dismissed a suit by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking to disqualify presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Labour Party (LP), Bola Tinubu and Peter Obi, over alleged unlawful substitution of their running mates.

• Asiwaju loyalists tip Buratai for security role in APC campaign council
The Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday, dismissed a suit by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking to disqualify presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Labour Party (LP), Bola Tinubu and Peter Obi, over alleged unlawful substitution of their running mates.

Justice Donatus Okorowo held that the suit lacked merit and was aimed at irritating opponents in the 2023 presidential election.

The court, specifically, held that the suit, filed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Gordy Uche, on behalf of PDP, was incompetent and non justiciable, as it disclosed no reasonable cause of action. Besides, the judge said PDP failed woefully to disclose any injury it suffered by the substitution.

The running mates, whose substitution was challenged by PDP, are Kabiru Masari and Doyin Okupe for APC and LP, respectively.

In the suit, PDP claimed the Electoral Act 2022 did not make provision for a “place holder” or temporary running mate, and that time for resignation, withdrawal or substitution of presidential candidates or conduct of fresh primaries to replace them is not applicable to Masari and Okupe.

The judge held that the issue of nomination and substitution are internal affairs of political parties over which courts have no jurisdiction.

This came as a group loyal to the presidential candidate of the APC, Tinubu-Alliance Platform (TAP), proposed former Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai (rtd), to head the security unit of the party’s presidential campaign council.

The group, in a statement signed by Secretary General, Best Agbese, said Buratai’s wealth of experience, pedigree and strong network will be crucial during and after the presidential tours around the country.

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