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‘Double Nomination’: Nigeria’s Election Court Gives Verdict, Says APM Case Against VP Shettima Lacks Merit

The court said the petitioner ought to have taken the case to a Federal High Court within a 14-day window following Shettima’s nomination as APC VP candidate.

The Presidential Election Petition Court has rejected the petition from the Allied People’s Movement (APM) on the grounds that they did not possess the legal authority to challenge the nomination process of the former Vice Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kashim Shettima.

In the primary ruling delivered by Chairman Justice Haruna Tsammani, the court affirmed that the matter of selecting a candidate is exclusively a concern preceding the election and should be adjudicated by the Federal High Court, hence, the Election Petition Court is not authorized to address this issue.

It also stated that the process of nomination by substitution, such as in the situation involving Kabir Masari and Shettima, is solely a pre-election matter, and only a candidate who participated in the party primary can contest this procedure.

Justice Tsammani additionally contended that the petitioner ought to have taken their case to the Federal High Court within a 14-day window following Shettima’s nomination as the Vice Presidential Candidate of the APC.

The Court emphasized that no political party possesses the authority to dispute how a candidate is nominated in a different party, unless it aligns with the guidelines outlined in Sections 131 and 137 of the Constitution.

Furthermore, Section 131 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria states that a person shall be qualified for election to the office of the President if (a) he is a citizen of Nigeria by birth; (b) he has attained the age of forty years; (c) he is a member of a political party and is sponsored by that political party; and (d) he has been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.

The Justice subsequently dismissed the petition due to its lack of merit. The Court cited the Supreme Court’s decision dated May 26th, where a case of double nomination against INEC, Kashim Shettima, and others was dismissed.

The APM had sought to disqualify Tinubu from participating in the presidential election scheduled for February 25. This was due to their claim that Tinubu had made an improper nomination of Senator Kashim Shettima as his vice presidential candidate.

The APM contended that selecting Shettima as Tinubu’s vice-presidential candidate violated the Electoral Act, which prohibits double nominations. Shettima was simultaneously running for a senatorial position when he was chosen as Tinubu’s running mate.

Frances Ibiefo

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