The Supreme Court has set a ruling on a case brought by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the qualifications of President-elect Bola Tinubu and Vice-President-elect Kassim Shettima for May 26 in a highly anticipated decision that could influence Nigeria’s political landscape.
The PDP aims to reverse the Court of Appeal’s decision that the party lacks standing to file the lawsuit, which was presided over by Justice James Abundaga.
A duplicate nomination of Tinubu’s deputy, Shettima, who the PDP claims simultaneously held seats as a senatorial and vice presidential candidate, is the basis of the appeal, which tries to invalidate Tinubu.
The verdict in this case might have seismic repercussions. Shettima’s disqualification, if upheld, would put Tinubu’s inauguration as president in jeopardy because they ran together for office.
Senior lawyer Joe Agim, representing the PDP, argued before the Supreme Court that the All Progressives Congress (APC) had previously conceded to Shettima’s double nomination during the appellate court proceedings, a claim vehemently denied by the APC.
Drawing upon a precedent set in the case of Uche Nwosu against the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Agim contended that the defendants should not have the right to present an argument given the alleged double nomination.
“There’s a punishment for double nomination. They ought not to be heard,” Mr Agim forcefully told the court on Monday. “It should never happen in this country.”