A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a suit instituted by the Peoples Democratic Party seeking the disqualification of All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu; and his Labour Party counterpart, Peter Obi.
The suit challenging the legality of the substitution of the running mates for Tinubu and Obi was dismissed on Monday on the grounds that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit and that the suit was a gross abuse of court process.
Justice Donatus Okoronkwo also noted that all the reliefs sought by the PDP were not grantable.
The PDP is claiming that the Electoral Act 2022 did not make provision for a “placeholder” or temporary running mate and that the replacement of running mates is not applicable to Ibrahim Masari and Doyin Okupe.
PDP is also contending that Tinubu and Obi can only qualify to contest the 2023 presidential election with Masari and Okupe, as their respective running mates.
The PDP further claimed that the Independent National Electoral Commission lacked the power to accept any withdrawal or substitution of Masari and Okupe without the APC and Labour Party conducting fresh primaries to substitute Tinubu and Obi, amongst others.
Obi had selected Okupe as his placeholder to beat INEC’s deadline but later replaced him with Datti Baba-Ahmed.
Similarly, Masari was also the placeholder for Tinubu but the APC candidate later substituted him with the ex-governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima.
Also in the race with Tinubu and Obi is PDP’s Atiku Abubakar, amongst other presidential candidates.