PEPT Rule Against APM in Favor of Tinubu/Shettima
The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) has struck out the Allied Peoples Movement petitions against President Bola Tinubu and his Vice President, Kashim Shettima, for lack of merit.
The PEPT dismissed and described APM’s case filed to nullify Tinubu’s election as “incompetent”.
The court held that issues raised by the APM in its petition contained pre-election matters that could only be determined by the Federal High Court.
Chairman of the panel, Justice Haruna Tsammani, read the ruling.
The tribunal also dismissed the APM petition against the Independent National Electoral Commission and four others.
Listed as 1st to 5th respondents are INEC, All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, Kashim Shettima and Kabiru Masari.
The tribunal ruled on each of the arguments put forward by APM.
Tsammani said the petitioners failed to prove their arguments and the petition was void of merits.
The judge also upheld preliminary objections raised by all the Respondents to challenge the competence of the petition.
Tsammani held that since the petition centered on the qualification or otherwise of Tinubu to contest the presidential election, the APM ought to have gone to court within 14 days after Tinubu was nominated by the APC.
He held that since the cause of action bordered on a pre-election matter, the APM lacked the locus standi to challenge Tinubu’s nomination.
Tsammani also held that the law did not allow a political party to query the process adopted by another political party in nominating its candidate.
The judge also held that invalid nomination or double nomination did not qualify as a ground for disqualification in respect of presidential election as provided in sections 131 and 137 of the Constitution.
The PUNCH reports that the APM asked the court to invalidate the votes of the President on the grounds of the double nomination of his vice, Shettima.
The APM argued that at the time Shettima became the vice presidential candidate of the APC, he was also a senatorial candidate in Borno State.
The case of the APM was opened and closed on June 21 after calling one private witness.