The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) has ruled in favour of Nigeria’s vice president, Kashim Shettima whose candidacy was being challenged by Allied Peoples Movement (APM).
According to the tribunal headed by Justice Haruna Tsammani, the APM’s petition on double nomination against the vice president is “devoid of any merit”.
The APM’s petition was premised on the eligibility of President Bola Tinubu and Vice-President Shettima to contest the February 25, 2023 election, according to TheCable.
Tsammani, who read the judgment, said the tribunal lacks the jurisdiction to hear or determine an issue bordering on the qualification or non-qualification of a candidate. He argued that issue of qualification or non-qualification is a pre-election matter that should have been ventilated at the federal high court within 14 days after the conduct of a primary election.
He further argued that the alleged double nomination against Shettima has no substance, having been settled by the Supreme Court. He said no one has the right to litigate on it again.
In addition, the tribunal also said APM lacks the locus standi to challenge the qualification of a candidate in another political party.
The tribunal said only an aspirant who took part in a primary election can challenge the outcome of such election.
The court referred to the judgment of the Supreme Court delivered on May 26 where the apex court dismissed an appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The APM in their petition submitted that Shettima was still a candidate as of 14 July when he was nominated as the vice-presidential candidate.
Tsammani held that there is evidence before the tribunal to prove that Shettima sent a letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on July 6, resigning his position as Borno central senatorial candidate and that his nomination as vice-president cannot be regarded as a double nomination.