Court upholds Tinubu, Shettima’s candidacy

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday dismissed a suit by the Peoples Democratic Party seeking the disqualification of Senator Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress, and his running mate, Kassim Shettima, for the 2023 general elections.

In the suit filed on July 28, 2022, the party contested Tinubu’s validity to contest the 2023 presidential election as the APC candidate on the ground that Shettima’s nomination as his running mate was in breach of the provisions of Sections 29(1), 33, 35 and 84 (1) (2) of the Electoral Act, 2022 (as amended).

It argued that Shettima’s nomination to contest the position of the vice president and Borno Central Senatorial seat breached the law.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, who delivered judgment in the suit, dismissed it on the ground that the PDP lacked locus standi to institute the suit.

Describing the suit as an abuse of court process, the judge held that the case was caught by the principle of issue estoppels.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the PDP, in its originating summons marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1734/2022, had sued the Independent National Electoral Commission, the APC, Tinubu and Shettima as 1st to 4th defendants respectively.

The PDP sought an order disqualifying the APC, Tinubu and Shettima from contesting the presidential election scheduled for Feb. 25.

But the defendants argued that the PDP lacked the locus standi to file the suit, which was challenging the political party’s decision and its nomination of candidates for the polls.

They also contended that the party’s (APC) decision was an internal one.

Ruling, Justice Ekwo said the court found the action incompetent for lack of locus standi and that the matter bordered on the internal affairs of the APC in which the PDP legal right to file the case.

Meanwhile, the Governor of Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, on Friday said if elected, a Bola Tinubu-led government would be largely run by the youth.

Bello said this shortly after a closed-door meeting with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the State House, Abuja.

“His administration is going to be more run by the younger generation,” Bello said when fielding questions about his current role as the National Youths Co-ordinator of the APC Presidential Campaign Council.

He further said, “Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu has 21 APC governors. He has touched the lives of Nigerians across the board. He is a builder. He built human beings, he builds nations. And he has started telling us exactly what he is going to do.

“His administration, by the special grace of God, is going to be more run by the younger generation. And you know that the younger generation constitute the quantum number of voters in this coming election.”

‘Budget deficits normal’

In another development, Tinubu, has promised to ‘tackle’ fuel subsidy, which, according to him, has “overstayed its shelf life” if he assumes office as the president.

This was as he noted that there was nothing wrong with budget deficits, stating that the real issue was whether the deficit spending was ‘productive or not’.

He made this known on Friday when he unfolded his “comprehensive economic plan” before the organised private sector under the aegis of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group.

Tinubu also noted that with his plans, the country would be on the path to economic recovery.

He, however, stated that before this recovery could be achieved, the nation must first be secured.

“First, to achieve the economy we seek, we must resolve the pressing security issues. No nation can flourish with terrorists and kidnappers in their midst,” he said, in a statement made available to newsmen on Friday by his media aide, Tunde Rahman.

Tinubu further emphasised the importance of the private sector and how his administration would partner them should he win the forthcoming election.