Why S’Court dismisses PDP’s suit on Shettima double nomination….Clears coast for Tinubu inaugurationon May 29
The Supreme Court on Friday cleared the coast for inauguration of Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu as President of Federal Republic of Nigeria on May 29 when the court dismissed the suit challenging Kashim Shettima’s nomination as his Vice President.
In an unanimous judgment the apex court dismissed the appeal filed by the People Democratic Party, PDP, challenging the President -Elect Tinubu candidacy on the ground of an alleged double nomination of his running mate Alhaji Kashim Shettima.
The unanimous decision was on a pre election matter which if the decision had gone other way would have become an incumbrance for the swearing in ceremony.
The ceremony will now proceed not withstanding Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi petitions pending before the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC.
Recall , PDP, had in an originating summon brought the action on double nomination before the Federal High Court Abuja after Asiwaju Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, on July 14, 2023 nominated Alhaji Kashim Shettima who was the candidate of the party for Borno Central Senatorial District as his running mate.
Delivering the lead judgment of the Supreme Court, Justice Adamu Jauro said that both Court of Appeal and the the Federal High Court were right in the concurrent decisions that dismissed the appeal and the suit, respectively.
He said that it was clear from the statute, especially the Electoral Act 2022 that People Democratic Party lacked the locus standi, the requisite right to interfer in the internal affairs of All Progressive Congress, APC. Therefore, had no locus standi to have instituted the legal action.
Justice Jauro said that only a member of the political party or an aspirant who participated in the party primary can challenge the action in court.
“As the plaintiff has no legal right to institute the action, no court can give that right,” he said.
He explained that section 285 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria which the appellant counsel relied upon, only allows political parties to challenge the activities of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,.
Justice Jauro notes that both lower courts did not make pronouncement on the merit of the suit. The Supreme Court can not now exercise it’s jurisdiction on the merit because the time allowed for pre election matter hearing has elapsed.
This is appeal lack merit and is hereby dismissed and a cost of two million Naira awarded against the appellant in favour of the respondents, he held.
But in their contributions to the lead judgement, Justices Inyang Okoro, Amina Augie, Helen Ogunmwumiju and Justice Emmanuel Agim dived into the merit of the appeal as the four justices agreed that Shettima nomination as Vice President did not amount to double nomination.
According to Justice Inyang Okoro, “attitude of the appellant amounted to misleading the court, because Shettima withdrew his nomination for the senatorial seat and accepted his nomination for the Vice President.
On her part, Justice Amina Augie took time to explain and she distinguished Uche Nwosu of Imo state case of 2019 and Kashim Shettima case. She said while Nwosu accepted governorship nomination for Action Alliance, AA, and All Progressive Congress, APC, Shettima relinquished his nomination when he was nominated as the Vice Presidential candidate.
According to her: “Similar situation occurred in 1999 when President Olusegun Obasanjo nominated the then Governor -Elect of Adamawa State Atiku Abubakar as his Vice President,”
She said the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Bonny Haruna who replaced Atiku as the governor from his running mate position.
Justice Ogunmwumiju said neither the Electoral Act nor the Political party guideline forbid replacement of candidates during nomination.
While Justice Emmanuel Agim said that the APC merely gave Shettima option to choose between the senatorial and Vice President constituencies adding that it was clear that he did not plan to hold double nomination.
Subsidy: Petrol hits N1,200 Per Litre in Ebonyi
Petrol now sells for N1,200 a litre in Ebonyi state, according to a report by NAN. The shocking change came after President Bola Tinubu announced the removal of fuel subsidy. Resident of Abakaliki in Ebonyi state were forced to buy petrol at a staggering N1,200 on Tuesday, according to the report. Scores of residents, who decried the high cost of petrol in the country, said they have since been engaged in panic buying. Some residents were also seen with their cans as many filling stations were under lock. A resident, Darlington Okeke, said panic buying was occasioned by Tinubu’s statement during his inauguration on Monday. Okeke stated that petrol in filling stations was sold between N800 and N1,200, against N230 per litre. Another resident, Ibrahim Ali, said black marketers sold a litre of fuel for N1,500, adding that the development was causing panic buying and frustration among residents. He, however, appealed to Tinubu to address the situation to mitigate panic buying and arbitrary hoarding of the products, which marketers introduced after the announcement by the president. Meanwhile, staff of some filling stations, who spoke under condition of anonymity, disclosed that the management of the Petroleum Dealers Association, Ebonyi State chapter, ordered the closure of fuel stations. “We are waiting for further directives,” they told NAN. Efforts to speak with the state chairman of the association, Sailas Njaka, on the development were not successful.
Troops eliminate ISWAP top commanders, 55 terrorists in Borno
At least 55 Islamic State–West Africa Province terrorists have been eliminated by Nigerian troops. Those killed included top commanders of the terrorist group. The mission was carried out by the Multinational Joint Task Force in Arege, Malam Fatori, Abadam Local Government Area of Borno State. The Niger Ministry of Defence said that it conducted a 22-day operation tagged Operation HARBIN ZUMA, targeting ISWAP strongholds. The operation, it said, was coordinated by troops of Sector 3 and Sector 4 of the MNJTF. The operation started on May 6, 2023, and ended on Sunday, May 28. According to its report, several top ISWAP commanders, including Fiya Abouzeid, Qaïd Abou Oumama, and Qaïd Malam Moustapha, as well as some religious leaders whose identities are unknown, were killed during the 22-day Operation HARBIN ZUMA. The Niger-Nigerian Air Task Force and land forces worked together to locate the enemy and cause significant damage. The troops destroyed 13 vehicles, 13 motorcycles and five Vehicles Borne Improvised Explosive Devices. Two soldiers from Nigérienne Sector 4 MNJTF were killed, three were slightly wounded, and one phantom Mrap was damaged during the operation. However, The Niger Ministry did not disclose any casualties on the Nigerian side. The main aim of Operation HARBIN ZUMA was to neutralise terrorists in their stronghold in Aregé, Nigeria. The operation also aimed to maintain pressure on the Islamic State in West Africa and eliminate any presence of armed terrorist groups in the BOSSO, BAGA, GOUDOUMBALI, and GASHIGAR areas. The operation also planned to cut off all supply routes for armed terrorist groups and reduce the threat in the region.
I pray Atiku succeeds in Nullifying Tinubu’s victory – Omokri
A former presidential aide, Reno Omokri has asked God to help Atiku Abubakar, the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party to nullify President Bola Tinubu’s victory. Omokri took to social media to pray to God. The staunch Atiku’s ally applauded Tinubu for his bold statement on subsidy removal, meeting the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and the Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, same day he assumed office. Tweeting, Omokri said unlike the immediate last president, Muhammadu Buhari, Tinubu started work immediately he assumed office. According to Omokri: “Making a bold statement on subsidy removal and backing it up with action. Meeting Godwin Emefiele, then Mele Kyari.“Making a string of appointments. Asserting his authority over the DSS in their face-off with the EFCC.“Tinubu, unlike Buhari, has hit the ground running. I sincerely pray that our petition will succeed and President Tinubu’s election will be nullified.“But be that as it may, I must commend the actions of his first 24 hours in office.”
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