Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday dismissed a suit instituted by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) seeking to disqualify All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, and Labour Party’s Mr Peter Obi over alleged unlawful substitution of their running mates
The judge held that PDP lacked merit and was aimed at irritating opponents in the 2023 presidential election.
Justice Okorowo specifically held that the suit filed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Gordy Uche on behalf of PDP was incompetent and unjustifiable as it disclosed no reasonable cause of action.
Besides, the judge said that PDP failed woefully to disclose any injury it suffered in the substitution of running mates carried out by APC and the Labour Party.
The running mates whose substitution is being challenged by PDP are Kabiru Masari and Doyin Okupe for APC and Labour Party respectively.
In the suit, PDP claimed that the Electoral Act 2022 did not make provision for a “place holder” or temporary running mate and that time for resignation, withdrawal or substitution of presidential candidates of conduct of fresh primaries to replace them is not applicable to Masari and Okupe.
PDP also contended that Tinubu and Obi can only qualify to contest the 2023 presidential election with Masari and Okupe as their respective running mates.
The judge however held that the issue of nomination and substitution are internal affairs of parties and that courts have no jurisdiction to dabble in them.
Defendants in the suit with No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1016/2022 are INEC, APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Kabiru Masari, Labour Party, Peter Obi and Doyin Okupe and 1st to 7th defendants respectively.