The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has filed a suit seeking the disqualification of the APC Presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Dr. Peter Obi.
The case was instituted at the Federal High Court, Abuja. Also sued was the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the APC. The party argued that Tinubu’s replacement of Kabiru Masari with Senator Kashim Shettima as running mate and Obi’s replacement of Doyin Okupe with Senator Datti Baba-Ahmed had no bearing with the Electoral Act.
It sought the disqualification of Tinubu and Obi if the court had found to have acted wrongly in replacing their running mate which they selected earlier as placeholders. The PDP said the Electoral Act died not have room for placeholders and that the two candidates should have stuck with the names the earlier presented as running mate.
The case has the suit number suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1016/2022. According to the PDP, the court should 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 were bound by the submission of Masari and Okupe respectively as their running mates.
The party sought 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) could validly contest the 2023 Presidential election without the 4th (Masari) and 7th (Obi) respondents as their respective running mates.
In the suit papers obtained by The Punch, the PDP said “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.”