PDP files law-suit to seek Obi, Tinubu’s disqualification over running mates
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has filed a lawsuit seeking to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to prevent All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Labour Party (LP) candidate, Peter Obi, from replacing their running mates with Senator Kashim Shettima and Senator Datti Baba-Ahmed respectively.
The PDP is also asking the court to declare that Tinubu and Obi are disqualified unless they contest alongside their previous running mates – Kabiru Masari and Doyin Okupe respectively.
In the originating summons with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1016/2022, the PDP is seeking an order barring the Independent National Electoral Commission from replacing the initial running mates of Tinubu and Obi.
Those listed as first to seventh respondents in the case are INEC, APC, Tinubu, Masari, Labour Party, Obi and Okupe.
Tinubu and Obi had submitted the names of Masari and Okupe as their makeshift running mates, calling them placeholders before they replaced them with Kashim Shettima and Datti Baba-Ahmed respectively as substantive running mates.
The PDP is now asking the court to determine if by the combined interpretation of Section 142(1) of the constitution, Section 29(1), 31 and 33 of the Electoral Act 2022, and INEC’s timetable, Tinubu and Obi are bound by the submission of Masari and Okupe respectively as their running mates.
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.”
The PDP is also seeking five reliefs including a declaration that by the combined interpretation of Section 142(1) of the constitution, Section 29(1), 31 and 33 of the Electoral Act 2022 and INEC’s timetable, both Tinubu and Obi must be bound by their submission.
The party asked the court to rule that both Tinubu and Obi will be disqualified the moment they substitute the names of their running mates.
One of the reliefs reads, “A declaration that by the combined interpretation of Section 142(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Sections 29(1), 31, 33 of the Electoral Act 2022, the 1st defendant’s (INEC’s) election timetable, the 3rd (Tinubu) and 6th (Obi) cannot validly contest the 2023 Presidential election without the 4th (Masari) and 7th (Obi) respondents as their respective running mates.”
The PDP also based its argument on the fact that the term ‘placeholder’ is unknown to Nigerian law.
“The Electoral Act makes no provisions whatsoever for placeholder or temporary running mates. The acts of the 2nd (APC), 3rd (Tinubu), 5th (Labour Party ) and 6th (Obi) defendants in nominating and forwarding the names of the 4th (Masari) and 7th (Okupe) defendants as running mates for the 2023 Presidential elections is valid and subsisting,” the party added.
The Tinubu and Obi’s camps have confirmed that they have received the court processes and will be acting accordingly.
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