The Allied Peoples Movement (APM) has approached the Supreme Court, with 10 grounds of appeal against the election of President Bola Tinubu and the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC).
The party, in the appeal it lodged before the Apex court, maintained its earlier position that President Tinubu was not eligible to participate in the presidential poll that held on February 25, 2023.
APM further alleged that the PEPC relied on technicality to dismiss the petition it filed to challenge Tinubu’s nomination by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
It contended that the Justice Haruna Tsammani-led five-member panel of the PEPC erred in law, when it wrongfully waved aside the allegation that Tinubu’s running mate and Vice President, Kashim Shettima, was nominated twice for different positions by the APC, in relation to the 2023 general elections.
In the notice of appeal the party filed through its team of lawyers led by Mr. Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume (SAN), the APM faulted the verdict the PEPC delivered on September 6, insisting that it was wrong for the court to dismiss its case against Tinubu’s election on the premise that it was not only incompetent but contained pre-election issues.
The party argued that sections 131 and 142 (1) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, were inextricably linked “and neither can be confined as a pre- election matter, as these qualifications are condition precedents to being elected to the office of President.”
“The Appellant’s petition was not one founded solely on nomination, but primarily that the 3rd respondent (Tinubu) contested the presidential election without a lawful associate running as his Vice President .
“That the withdrawal of (Mr. Ibrahim Masari) 5th Respondent and the expiry of the 14 days permissible for changing a withdraw or dead candidate under section 33 of the Electoral Act 2022, made the 3rd Respondent’s election and return invalid”, the party said.
The party further argued that the PEPC abandoned its duty and jurisdiction of hearing and determining the question of whether President Tinubu and Vice President Shettima were validly elected under the law, in view of provisions of section 239(1) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
It therefore urged the Supreme Court to hold that the PEPC became interested in technical issues solely beneficial to the 3rd and 4th Respondents in the appeal (Tinubu and Shettima), rather than concentrating on whether they were validly elected or not.
It further contended that being validly elected entailed “being qualified to contest the election,” adding that valid election include the threshold of qualifications and disqualification, as stipulated in the Constitution.
The party, consequently prayed the apex court to set aside the judgement of the PEPC and allow its appeal by declaring that President Tinubu was not qualified to contest the presidential election, “having violated the provisions of Section 142 (1) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).”
The party also prayed for a declaration that the return of Tinubu by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as the President elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, was null, void of no legal effect whatsoever.
“That the withdrawal of the 5th respondent (Ibrahim Masari), as Vice Presidential candidate to Tinubu by the operations of the law amounted to automatic withdrawal and invalidation of the candidate of APC”, it said.
APM also urged the Supreme Court to issue an order, nullifying and voiding all votes scored by APC in the Presidential election of February 25, as well as, to make an order, directing INEC to return the second highest score at the election as the winner of the presidential contest.
Ripples Nigeria reports that both Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) had also both separately filed appeals at the Supreme Court against the judgment of the Tribunal which affirmed the election of Tinubu as president.
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