PDP’s Appeal Dismissed: Supreme Court Upholds Tinubu’s Eligibility for Presidential Election

Legal Victory for President-elect Tinubu: Supreme Court Dismisses PDP's Bid to Disqualify Him

PDP's Appeal Dismissed: Supreme Court Upholds Tinubu's Eligibility for Presidential Election
PDP’s Frivolous Appeal Rejected: Supreme Court Confirms Tinubu’s Presidential Candidacy


In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the eligibility of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the President-elect, to contest the presidential election held on February 25. The court, consisting of a five-member panel, declared that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) appeal challenging Tinubu’s candidacy lacked merit.

The PDP had filed the appeal, marked SC/CV/501/2023, seeking Tinubu’s disqualification based on the allegation that Senator Kashim Shettima, the Vice President-elect, allowed himself to be nominated for more than one constituency ahead of the 2023 general elections.

According to the PDP’s argument, Shettima’s dual nomination for the Borno Central Senatorial seat and the Vice Presidential position violated Sections 29(1), 33, 35, 84(1), and (2) of the Electoral Act, 2022, as amended.

The PDP not only requested the court to nullify Tinubu and Shettima’s candidacy but also applied for an order compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remove their names from the list of nominated or sponsored candidates eligible for the presidential poll.

Justice Adamu Jauro delivered the lead judgment of the apex court, affirming the decisions of the Court of Appeal and the Federal High Court in Abuja, which had previously dismissed the PDP’s case. Justice Jauro emphasized that the PDP lacked the legal right (locus standi) to interfere in the affairs of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which nominated both Tinubu and Shettima for the presidential election.

The Supreme Court agreed with the respondents, stating that Section 285(14)(c) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, and Section 149 of the Electoral Act, 2022, did not grant the PDP the legal right to challenge Shettima’s candidature on the grounds of double nomination. The court held that Section 84 of the Electoral Act only empowered an aspirant who participated in a political party’s primary election to challenge the nomination of a candidate by the party.

Furthermore, the court ruled that the PDP failed to establish any injury it suffered as a result of the APC’s nomination. It stressed that the law does not permit a political party to interfere in the internal affairs of another political party. Describing the appeal as frivolous, the Supreme Court admonished the PDP for filing a baseless lawsuit that could expose the judiciary to public ridicule.

The court noted that the evidence presented confirmed that Shettima had properly withdrawn as the APC candidate in the Borno senatorial election on July 6, 2022. Justice Jauro stated, “From the trial court, down to this court, it has been a waste of precious judicial time. The instant appeal was unnecessary, and counsel should advise their client against filing this sort of suit in the future.”

In addition to dismissing the appeal, the Supreme Court upheld the N2 million damages awarded against the PDP in favor of the respondents, considering the frivolous nature of the appeal.

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