The Supreme Court has dismissed the suit seeking the disqualification of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shettima as presidential and vice presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
A five-member panel of the apex court held on Friday that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lacked the locus standi to institute the suit.
The panel said that the PDP is not a member of the APC.
The PDP had claimed that Shettima’s nomination as Tinubu’s running mate was in breach of the provisions of sections 29(1), 33, 35, and 84(1)(2) of the Electoral Act.
The party alleged that Shettima was still the APC’s candidate for Borno Central senatorial district on 14th July when he accepted the nomination for vice presidential candidate.
However, the respondents said Shettima’s senatorial nomination was dropped last 6th July.
The respondents said the suit was statute barred, having been filed 15 days after the cause of action instead of 14 days as required by law.
They also averred that the issue being contested is an internal party affair and that the appellants lacked locus standi to institute the suit.
But the appellants insisted that section 284(14)(c) of the constitution gives them the right to institute the suit as it is not an internal party affair, rather, a breach of the Electoral Act.
In its judgement, the Supreme Court held that section 284(14)(c) of the constitution does not extend to a party poking into the affairs of another party no matter how pained and disgruntled it may be.
“The position of the law has always been that no political party can challenge the nomination of a candidate of another political party”, Justice Adamu Jauro, who read the lead judgement, said.
“The position did not change in section 285(14)(c) of the constitution. No matter pained or disgruntled a political party is with the way and manner another political party is conducting or has conducted its affairs concerning its nomination of candidates for any position, it must keep mum and remain an onlooker for he lacks locus standi to challenge such nomination in court.
“Section 285(14)(c) of the constitution only allows a political party to challenge the decisions and activities of INEC disqualifying its own candidate from participating in an election.
“It is therefore abundantly clear that a political party that files a suit challenging the nomination of a candidate of another political party would be a nosy busy-body, a meddlesome interloper, peeping into the affairs of his neighbour without any backing.
“The appellants by its originating summons and affidavits in support filed to disclose any nexus between the actions of the respondents and the suit. And it has failed to show which harm it suffered or that it stands to potentially suffer from the action of the respondents. In fact no dispute has been shown to exist between the appellants and the respondents.
“I’m in complete agreement with the lower court that the appellant lacked locus standi to institute and maintain this action at the trial court”.
The court added that the appeal is frivolous and bound to fail.