In order to stop Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress and Peter Obi of the Labour Party from selecting Senator Kashim Shettima and Senator Datti Baba-Ahmed as their running mates, the Peoples Democratic Party has filed a lawsuit against the Independent National Electoral Commission asking the court to sack APC and LP presidential flagbearers.
The PDP is also asking the court to rule that Tinubu and Obi are unable to run for office unless they do so with their respective former running partners, Kabiru Masari and Doyin Okupe.
The PDP is asking for a court injunction that would prevent the Independent National Electoral Commission from changing Tinubu and Obi's running mates in the original summons with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1016/2022.
The parties involved in the suit include INEC, APC, Tinubu, Masari, Labour Party, Obi, and Okupe, who are designated as the case's first through seventh respondents.
Recall that in order to make the June 17 INEC deadline, Tinubu had selected Masari as a stand-in running mate or placeholder. 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.
The PDP asked the court to determine if by the combined interpretation of Section 142(1) of the constitution, Section 29(1), 31 and 33 of the Electoral Act 2022, and INEC’s timetable, Tinubu and Obi are bound by the submission of Masari and Okupe respectively as their running mates.
The party also asked the court to determine if “by the combined interpretation of Section 142(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sections 29(1), 31, 33 of the Electoral Act 2022, 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.”
The PDP sought 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.
The party asked the court to rule that both Tinubu and Obi will be disqualified the moment they substitute the names of their running mates.
Festus Okoye, the national commissioner for INEC, had earlier branded the placeholder issue as a new invention that had no place in the nation's legal and constitutional framework in an interview with Arise TV.
"Political parties' candidates have submitted names of associates to run with them," he had stated. "As of today, nothing has changed with regard to the law."
The vice-presidential candidate must notify the INEC in writing and include an affidavit confirming that he is withdrawing from the race within the time period allowed by law in order for a candidate to be substituted.©Standard Gazette, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s publisher is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Standard Gazette with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.