Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Monday inauguration has been cleared by court while PDP and LP prepare for legal battle
The stage is set for the inauguration of President-elect Asiwaju Bola Tinubu on Monday after the Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking to disqualify the ticket that led to Tinubu’s election victory alongside vice-president-elect Kashim Shettima in the 2023 presidential election.
Likewise, a Federal High Court in Abuja refused to issue an interim injunction to halt Tinubu’s inauguration, despite allegations that he lied on oath in the documents submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Supreme Court affirmed the eligibility of Tinubu and Shettima to contest the presidential election, rejecting the PDP’s appeal that sought Tinubu’s disqualification due to the alleged double nomination of Shettima as both Borno Central Senatorial candidate and vice-presidential candidate. The PDP argued that this double nomination violated provisions of the Electoral Act.
The court ruled that the PDP lacked the legal right to interfere in the internal affairs of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which nominated Tinubu and Shettima as its candidates. It emphasized that political parties should not meddle in the affairs of other parties and stated that the PDP failed to prove any threat to its rights or establish any injury resulting from the nomination by the APC.
Furthermore, the Supreme Court criticized the PDP for filing a frivolous appeal and awarded N2 million in damages against the party.
Although the dismissal of the appeal by the Supreme Court was not considered a setback by Atiku Abubakar, the PDP’s presidential candidate in the election, he expressed determination to prove the fraudulent nature of Tinubu and Shettima’s election through legal channels.
The PDP and the Labour Party (LP) indicated their intentions to continue their legal battles at the tribunal. The LP stated that the Supreme Court judgment had no impact on their separate case, while the PDP promised to issue a formal statement after reading the judgment.
Meanwhile, Festus Keyamo, the spokesman for the dissolved APC Presidential Campaign Council, taunted Atiku and the PDP, stating that serious lawyers knew from the start that they had no case. Keyamo cited settled legal principles that prohibit one party from interfering in the internal affairs of another party and highlighted evidence of Shettima’s withdrawal from the senatorial race before his nomination as the vice-presidential candidate.
In a related development, the Federal High Court in Abuja declined to issue an interim injunction to prevent Tinubu’s swearing-in as president. The court dismissed a suit filed by three plaintiffs who alleged that Tinubu lied on oath about his qualifications and birthdate. The court ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain the case and described it as unconstitutional, frivolous, and vexatious. It emphasized that only an aspirant can challenge the qualification or nomination of a candidate before an election and that post-election disputes should be taken to the Court of Appeal.