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2023: Tinubu, Shettima candidature under threat as AA asks court’s order to bar INEC from recognising them

Anthony Iwuoma

The candidature of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and his running mate, Senator Kashim, has become an issue of litigation before the Abuja division of Federal High Court.

Action Alliance, AA, had dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the APC to the court over alleged double nomination of the duo.

In an earlier suit pending before the Federal High Court, AA is seeking the disqualification of the APC from the 2023 presidential polls over alleged act of perjury on the part of its presidential candidate, Tinubu.

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Nevertheless, the party in the fresh suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1256/2022,  is also seeking the disqualification of the APC on the grounds that it nominated a candidate for more than one constituency for next year’s general elections, contending that it contravened Section 35 of the Constitution and the Electoral Act, 2022.

Therefore, AA is asking the court for, “A declaration that the nomination of the 4th defendant by the 3rd defendant as the Vice Presidential Candidate of the 2nd defendant is void arising from the express provision of Section 35 of the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act, 2022 in that the 4th defendant allowed himself to be nominated in more than one constituency for the 2023 elections.

“A perpetual injunction restraining the 3rd and 4th defendants from holding out themselves as Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates contesting the 2023 Presidential election on the platform of the 2nd Defendant.”

The party is also seeking another order of perpetual injunction, barring INEC from listing the names of Tinubu and Shettima on the final list of candidates for the said election as well as forbidding the electoral umpire to put APC on the ballot for the said election.

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It averred in an affidavit deposed to by Mr. Kalu Agu that the APC contravened the law when it submitted the name of Shettima both as a candidate for Borno Central Senatorial election and Vice President in the 2023 general elections.

“The 2nd Defendant also submitted the name of the 4th defendant as its candidate in Borno Central Senatorial election for the 2023 election and the 4th defendant swore to a Form EC9 in his capacity as the said candidate and same was submitted to the 1st defendant.

“That the 4th Defendant also on July 15, 2022, submitted another Form EC9 to the 1st defendant through the 2nd defendant and this time he was nominated for Vice Presidential Candidate.

“That the 4th Defendant also deposed to the oath constituting the said Form EC9 as being nominated for the position of Vice Presidential Candidate.

“That Borno Central Senatorial Zone and the Presidential Election are two different constituencies.

“That the Plaintiff applied through me for the certified true copies of the Forms EC9 of the 4th defendant for the Borno Central Senatorial Zone and the Presidential election but the 1st Defendant is delaying the release of it to the Plaintiff.”

The suit filed on behalf of the plaintiff by Mr. Ukpai Ukairo, has INEC, APC, Tinubu, and Shettima as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th defendants, respectively.