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Regarding APM’s complaint against Tinubu, the court has reserved judgement

Jul 15, 2023 | 2023 Elections | 0 comments

The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) in Abuja has reserved its judgement on Allied Peoples Movement (APMsuit ) ‘s to annul President Bola Tinubu’s election.
Once all parties submitted their final papers, Judge Haruna Tsammani’s five-member bench approved the case for judgement on Friday.

The petition designated CA/PEPC/04/2023 names INEC, the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, President Tinubu, Vice President Kashim Shettima, and Mr. Kabiru Masari as defendants.

The petitioner, represented by Mr. Andrew Malgwi, SAN, asked the court to fire Tinubu and revoke INEC’s Certificate of Return. In contrast, all the defendants asked the court to dismiss the matter for lack of competence.

President Tinubu’s counsel, led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, argued that the APM’s suit was baseless.

He maintained that the Supreme Court had previously ruled on the single basis the party used to seek his ouster. His Vice President, Shettima, was nominated twice by the APC for distinct electoral offices.

President Tinubu said that APM’s petition lacked substance and a reasonable cause of action against him.

APC and INEC attorneys, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, and Mr. Steven Adehi, SAN, requested the court reject the case.

APC informed the court that Tinubu’s candidature and eligibility to contest the February 25 presidential election was without fault, while INEC supported the poll’s conclusion.

After hearing from all parties, the Justice Tsammani-led panel announced the judgement date.

Once its only witness testified, the APM concluded its case on July 21.

APM’s appeal argued that Section 131(c) and 142 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, invalidated Tinubu’s candidature since Mr Masari, the APC’s Vice-Presidential candidate, withdrew.

In the suit, the party claimed a three-week gap between Masari, the 5th Respondent, expressing his decision to resign, withdrawing his putative candidature, and Tinubu, reportedly replacing him with Senator Kashim Shettima.

It further claimed that Tinubu’s nomination expired when he nominated Shettima to replace Masari.

“He was no longer in a position, constitutionally, to nominate a running mate since he had ceased to be a presidential candidate of the 2nd Respondent having regards to the provisions of section 142 of the 1999 Constitution,” the petitioner said when Tinubu announced Shettima as the Vice Presidential candidate.

APM further argued that Masari’s candidature triggered the Constitution’s joint ticket concept and that his withdrawal nullified it.

So, it requested the court to declare that Shettima was not entitled to run as the APC’s Vice-Presidential candidate on February 25 when INEC conducted the poll because he breached Section 35 of the Electoral Act, 2022.

“An order nullifying and voiding all Tinubu’s presidential election votes due to his APC non-qualification”.

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