If Tinubu Is Not Disqualified By The Court, Forget About Justice In Nigeria, Lawyer Analyses Petition Of APM Against APC

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I have carefully perused the Petition of APM versus Tinubu, Shettima, APC and INEC and all I can say is that it appeared too mundane, but carries the strongest venom against Tinubu, Shettima, APC and INEC.

Many looked down on the case and say that the Supreme Court has already determined the issue of double nomination.

However, a close look at the Petition will show that the case was never about double nomination of Shettima, but one of invalid nomination. The core of the case is that as at the time Tinubu nominated his running mate, he himself was no longer a candidate by virtue of the a combine provisions of the Constitution and Electoral Act, 2022 in Section 142 (1) and Section 33 of the Constitution and Electoral Act, respectively.

Let me bring you closer to the fact, law and the Petition before Court of Appeal by the APM. Due to the impression created about double nomination, the APC and Tinubu, in concert with INEC have presented a case before the Supreme Court that got them out of the trap of double nomination. However, in the there bid to escape double nomination, they fell into INVALID NOMINATION.

Follow me, patiently. Now, in the pleadings and final address, one fact remained consistent and undoubtedly solid as all the parties are in concurrence. The 1st, 2nd 3rd and 4th Respondents all agreed that the “placeholder” Alhaji Masari, withdrew as Vice Presidential placeholder on 24th of June, 2022. They also all agreed that the replacement was made on 14th July, 2022. It is not debatable that between the withdrawal and replacement, a period of 21 days lapsed.

Now, Section 142 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides that a Presidential Candidate is not qualified if he has not nominated another person to run with him/her as Vice President. So, without a Vice Presidential Candidate duly selected by the Presidential Candidate, the ticket is useless. So, in order to beat this provision and other requirements for time in the Electoral Act, 2022 that APC invented what we now call the “Placeholder” to secure the Presidential ticket. For the period before his replacement, Alhaji Masari was the Vice Presidential Candidate of the APC in the eyes of our laws. This was why he had to also explore the provision of the Electoral Act, 2022 to withdraw as Vice Presidential Candidate on the 24th of June, 2022.

Now, Section 33 of the Electoral Act, 2022 is also visible to the blind as it mandate a political party whose Candidate withdraws to replace such a candidate within 14 days. 14 days is 14 days and no Court can extend such a time for anyone. It is just like time for election petition can not be extended by any court.

APM is simply saying that as at the 14th day of July, 2022 APC had no valid Candidate for President as its Vice Presidential Candidate withdrew 21 days before a replacement was made, instead of within 14 days. You see, this is our law and no court can amend it because of one person. This is a clear case of power coming from God.

While they attempted to evade double nomination, they fell into INVALID NOMINATION. Isn’t God’s way above the ways of man?

A perusal of INEC’s final address reveals the disgraceful partisan posture of an institution that ought to be neutral. INEC shamelessly claimed that APM did not plead that APC replaced its Vice Presidential Candidate outside 14 days allowed by law. But, luckily, the Petition was handy for APM to point INEC’s blind eyes to the portion of the petition where the facts were copiously pleaded. What remains?

Now, the law, the facts and the case are all against the Candidacy of Tinubu and no one can say otherwise. I only wait to see how the law Lords will deal with this. It will be interesting to see a contrary position from what the law clearly is. But what do I know?

Silas Joseph Onu, Esq.
Abuja – Nigeria.

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