The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court concerning the 2023 presidential election.
The PDP is seeking to prevent All Progressives Congress Presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu; and Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi, from replacing their running mates with Senator Kashim Shettima and Senator Datti Baba-Ahmed respectively.
The party is also asking the court to declare that Tinubu and Obi be disqualified unless they contest alongside their previous running mates – Kabiru Masari and Doyin Okupe respectively.
In the originating summons with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1016/2022, the PDP is seeking an order barring the Independent National Electoral Commission from replacing the running mates of Tinubu and Obi.
The seven respondents listed in the suit include INEC, APC, Tinubu, Masari, Labour Party, Obi and Okupe.
Recall that Tinubu had nominated Masari as a surrogate running mate or placeholder in order to beat the June 17 INEC deadline.
On the other hand, Obi had nominated his campaign manager, Okupe, as an interim running mate. However, INEC gave a grace period of about one month to substitute their names.
Following weeks of consultations, Tinubu and Obi nominated Shettima and Baba-Ahmed respectively while Masari and Okupe resigned.
However, the PDP asked the court to determine if by the combined interpretation of Section 142(1) of the constitution, Section 29(1), 31 and 33 of the Electoral Act 2022, and INEC’s timetable, Tinubu and Obi are bound by the submission of Masari and Okupe respectively as their running mates.
The party also asked the court to determine if “by the combined interpretation of Section 142(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sections 29(1), 31, 33 of the Electoral Act 2022, the first defendant (INEC) can validly accept any change or substitution of the 4th (Masari) and 7th (Okupe) defendants as running mates of the 3rd (APC) and 6th (Labour Party) defendants.”
The PDP is also seeking five reliefs including a declaration that by the combined interpretation of Section 142(1) of the constitution, Section 29(1), 31 and 33 of the Electoral Act 2022 and INEC’s timetable, both Tinubu and Obi must be bound by their submission.
The party asked the court to rule that both Tinubu and Obi will be disqualified the moment they substitute the names of their running mates.
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