Atiku reacts to Supreme Court judgment, says battle continues

THE presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has said the ruling of the Supreme Court on the suit filed by the party was not a setback in his quest for justice.

The former Vice President disclosed this in a statement shared on his Twitter handle on Friday, May 26.

The PDP candidate noted that the legal team was primed to robustly prove that the February 25 presidential election was fraudulent and did not comply with the constitutional requirements and the guidelines of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).


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The ICIR had earlier reported that the Apex court dismissed a suit filed by the PDP for the disqualification of President-elect Bola Tinubu and Vice President-elect Kashim Shettima over alleged double nomination.

The Supreme Court Justice, Adamu Jauro, who delivered the judgment, said the PDP acted as an intrusive interloper and a busybody by filing the suit.

The court further described the PDP’s action as misleading and “sad.”

It further awarded a sum of N2 million against the party, noting that the suit lacked merit.

Reacting to the dismissal. Atiku tweeted, “The Supreme Court’s dismissal of the case of the #OfficialPDPNig is not a setback to my quest for justice. 

“Our legal team are primed to robustly prove that the election of February 25 was fraudulent, did not comply with the constitutional requirements and the electoral guidelines of the Independent National Electoral Commission, #inecnigeria, and that the announced winner was not even qualified to contest the poll.

“The battle for democracy and the enthronement of a new order to spur growth and development in Nigeria is one to which I have committed my all and for which I am not ready to walk away at this point when our nation is at crossroads. 

“We know that sooner than later, our esteemed Justices will make the pronouncement that will serve as a befitting requiem for mandate bandits. 

“I urge my supporters to exercise patience and conduct themselves peaceably as we diligently conduct our litigation at the Presidential Election Tribunal Court.”

The suit

The PDP, had on July 28, 2022, filed a suit asking for the disqualification of Tinubu and Shettima from contesting the 2023 presidential election on the grounds that Shettima’s nomination as Tinubu’s running mate amounted to double nomination, in breach of the provisions of Sections 29(1), 33, 35 and 84{1)}(2)} of the Electoral Act, 2022 as amended.

The party argued that Shettima’s nomination to contest the position of vice president and Borno Central senatorial seat breached the law.

Subsequently, an Abuja Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal dismissed the suit.

The party asked the Supreme Court to reverse the Court of Appeal judgment, which held that the party failed to establish its locus standi, noting that Shettima’s disqualification for double nomination could halt the swearing-in of Tinubu as President since they ran a combined ticket.

On May 22, The ICIR reported that the Supreme Court fixed May 26 to deliver judgment in the suit.

At the apex court, the party’s lawyer Joe Agim told argued that the All Progressives Congress (APC) had earlier admitted Shettima’s double nomination at the Court of Appeal.






     

     

    “There’s a punishment for double nomination,” Agim said.

    The PDP requested that the Supreme Court exercise its authority and assume jurisdiction over the case to overturn the lower courts’ earlier rulings and reassess the parties’ arguments.

    The PDP claimed that Shettima’s nominations for vice president and Senator are against the terms of the Electoral Act.

    The party also explained that Shettima’s Senate nomination had not been withdrawn from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) when he was nominated as Tinubu’s running mate, arguing that running for two posts at once was unlawful.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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