A federal high court in Abuja has dismissed a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking the disqualification of Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1016/2022, the PDP had challenged the propriety of the substitution of the running mates for the APC and the Labour Party.
It prayed the court to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to prevent Tinubu and Obi from replacing their running mates with Kashim Shettima and Datti Baba-Ahmed respectively.
The party asked the court to declare that Tinubu and Obi be disqualified unless they contest alongside their previous running mates – Kabiru Masari and Doyin Okupe.
The PDP averred that the Electoral Act 2022 did not make provision for a “place holder” or temporary running mate.
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”.
Those listed as first to seventh respondents in the case are INEC, APC, Tinubu, Masari, Labour Party, Obi and Okupe.
All the respondents in the suit challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter.
Delivering judgment on Monday, Donatus Okorowo, the judge, held that the court lacked jurisdiction to preside over the suit.
He said the suit lacks merit, and it is an “abuse of court process”.
Consequently, the matter was dismissed.