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Court dismisses PDP’s suit calling for Tinubu, Peter Obi’s disqualification for substituting Running Mates

Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, on Monday, dismissed a suit instituted by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) seeking to disqualify All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Labour Party’s candidate, 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 Labour Party.

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The Running Mates, whose substitution were being challenged by PDP were 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.

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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 were internal affairs of parties and that courts have no jurisdiction to dabble into 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.