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September 6, 2023

Tribunal Strikes Out APM’s Petition Seeking Tinubu’s Disqualification

By John C. Azu

The Presidential Election Petitions Court has declared that it lacks the powers to hear the petition of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) challenging the qualification of President Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima.

Reading the lead judgment on Wednesday, Justice Haruna Tsammani held that the issues brought before the tribunal are pre-election matters, which ought to have been at a high court.

He added that the timeframe of 180 days within which to determine the issue had elapsed.

“In Alhassan and others versus Ishaku and others, it was held that an election tribunal has no jurisdiction on the primary of a political party,” he said.

He said the matters of qualification and disqualification are guided by the provisions of sections 131 and 137(1)(a)(j) of the Nigerian Constitution.

He held that issue complained of was an internal affair of a political party.

APM had contended that Tinubu and Shettima were not validly nominated to contest the February 25. They argue that by the combined reading of sections 131(c) and 142(2) of the Nigerian Constitution, 1999 and Section 133 of the Electoral Act made them to invalid.

They contend that when Kabiru Masari announced his withdrawal as an APC placeholder on June 24, 2022 to the date Shettima’s name was forwarded to INEC on July 14, 2022, was 21 days which breached Section 33 of the Electoral Act, 2022, which provides for 14 days for the replacement of a candidate for an election.

Media Trust Limited.

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