On Monday, Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that sought to disqualify Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party over alleged illegal substitution of their running mates.
According to the judge, PDP lacked merit and was only intended to annoy candidates in the 2023 presidential election.
Gordy Uche, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, brought a lawsuit on behalf of the PDP, but Justice Okorowo explicitly ruled that it was unjustified and incompetent since it did not state a plausible cause of action.
The judge further stated that PDP had utterly failed to disclose any harm that had resulted from the swap of running mates by APC and Labour Party.
The running mates for the APC and Labour Party, respectively, are Kabiru Masari and Doyin Okupe, whose replacement is being contested by the PDP.
In the lawsuit, the PDP argued that the Electoral Act of 2022 did not make allowance for a “place holder” or interim running mate and that Masari and Okupe were exempt from the requirement to retire, withdraw, or substitute as a presidential candidate or to organize new primaries to replace them.
The PDP further argued that Tinubu and Obi could only compete for president in 2023 if Masari and Okupe served as their respective running mates.
However, the judge ruled that the matter of nomination and substitution is a matter for the parties’ internal affairs, and that courts lack the authority to become involved.
INEC, APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Kabiru Masari, Labour Party, Peter Obi, and Doyin Okupe are the first through seventh defendants in the lawsuit with case number FHC/ABJ/CS/1016/2022.
Details to come…