Court dismisses PDP suit against Tinubu, Obi’s placeholders

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday dismissed a suit by the Peoples Democratic Party challenging the appointment of placeholders by the presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress and Labour Party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Peter Obi, respectively.

Justice Donatus Okorowo in a judgment held that the suit was an abuse of the court process because issues raised by the plaintiff were unknown to the law.

He held that the suit, prosecuted for the PDP by Gordy Uche (SAN), did not disclose any reasonable cause of action against the respondents; a development that robbed the court of the jurisdiction to hear the case.

“When a court finds out that a suit is an abuse of the court process, the court has the right to dismiss it,” Okorowo said.

The PDP had, by the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1016/2022 challenged the propriety of the nomination of placeholders by the presidential candidates of the APC and LP, claiming among others, that such procedure was unlawful.

Also named with Tinubu, the APC, Obi and LP were Kabiru Masari (placeholder for the APC), Doyin Okupe (placeholder for LP), and the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The PDP contended that the term ‘placeholder’ is unknown to the law in the country, adding that the Electoral Act, 2022 makes no provisions whatsoever for placeholder or temporary running mates.

The party argued that acts of the second (the APC), third (Tinubu), fifth (Labour Party) and sixth (Obi) defendants in nominating and forwarding the names of the fourth (Masari) and seventh (Okupe) defendants as running mates for the 2023 presidential election is valid and subsisting and could not be overridden by the subsequent nomination of Kashim Shettima and Datti Baba-Ahmed.