The Supreme Court delivered its judgment on Friday, affirming the lower courts’ decisions that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) lacked the legal standing to bring the case forward. Justice Adamu Jauro, who read the judgment, stated that the PDP had acted as an interfering outsider in what was an internal matter of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The court awarded a sum of two million naira (N2,000,000) against the PDP and dismissed the suit for lacking merit. Justice Jauro also criticized the PDP for misleading the court, describing their actions as “sad.”
The justices emphasized that the case of Uche Nwosu, on which the PDP relied, was decided based on its specific circumstances and should not be applied universally. Uche Nwosu had been nominated by two political parties for different positions, making his case distinct from the present situation.
The Supreme Court justices reiterated that a political party has no right to challenge the actions or decisions of another party or the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) regarding another party. They further stated that for a person to have legal standing to challenge the nomination process of a political party, they must be a neutral individual, an aspirant for that position, and a member of the party.
The justices reminded the PDP of a similar case in 1999, involving the nomination of Atiku Abubakar as Governor and later as the Vice Presidential Candidate to Olusegun Obasanjo. In that instance, Boni Haruna assumed the Governorship nomination, leading to a dispute that reached the Supreme Court. The court questioned what had changed since then and emphasized that the PDP must remain as an observer, regardless of their dissatisfaction with the APC’s primary elections and candidate nomination process.
The PDP had argued that the nomination of Kashim Shettima as Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s running mate violated provisions of the Electoral Act 2022. However, the court ruled that the opposition party had no case.