Court Throws Out PDP’s Suit Against Obi, Tinubu On Placeholding
— Says PDP’s Suit Is An Abuse Of Court Process
The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday threw out the petition the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) filed against the Labour Party and it’s Presidential Candidate, Peter Obi and the All Progressive Congress (APC) and it’s Presidential Candidate, Bola Tinubu, on placeholding of their Vice Presidential candidate’s positions before the emergence of their current Vice Presidential candidates.
PDP argued that LP’s Obi and APC’s Tinubu cannot contest Nigeria’s 2023 Presidential Election without their original running mates.
Delivering judgment on the placeholding case PDP filed against LP’s candidate, Peter Obi and APC candidate, Bola Tinubu, Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, said the presidential candidates of LP, Peter Obi and APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, are free to contest next year’s presidential election, contrary to PDP’s plea.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had challenged the candidates and their political parties for appointing placeholders to hold place before the nomination of their vice presidential candidates, respectively.
But the court frowned at the arguments of PDP on the issue.
Okorowo, in his verdict, therefore held that the suit was “an abuse of court process.”
The learned judge stated that “PDP did not disclose any reasonable cause of action against the respondents.”
“When a court finds out that a suit is an abuse of court process, the court has the right to dismiss it,” he said in his pronouncement on the matter canvassed by the PDP lawyer, Gordy Uche (SAN).
In the suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1016/2022, PDP challenged the propriety of the nomination of placeholders by the presidential candidates of the APC and LP, claiming, among others, that such procedure was unlawful.
Joined in the matter were Kabiru Masari, placeholder for APC, Doyin Okupe, placeholder for LP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
PDP also contended that the Electoral Act made no provisions whatsoever for placeholder or temporary running mates.
It further argued that acts of the 2nd (APC), 3rd (Tinubu), 5th (Labour Party ) and 6th (Obi) defendants in nominating and forwarding the names of the 4th (Masari) and 7th (Okupe) defendants as running mates for the 2023 Presidential Elections was valid and subsisting and could not be overridden by the subsequent nomination of Shettima and Baba-Ahmed.
The party had, among others, prayed the court to declare that by the combined interpretation of Section 142(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Sections 29(1), 31, 33 of the Electoral Act 2022, the 1st defendant’s (INEC’s) election timetable, the 3rd (Tinubu) and 6th (Obi) cannot validly contest the 2023 Presidential election without the 4th (Masari) and 7th (Obi) respondents as their respective running mates.