Tinubu, Shettima pray court to dismiss PDP’s suit

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The Progressives Congress (APC)’s presidential candidate,  Bola Tinubu and his vice, Kashim Shettima, have asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to dismiss the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s suit against them for being incompetent.Tinubu and Shettima told Justice Inyang Ekwo this in two motions on notice: FHC/ABJ/CS/1734/22 and filed separately by their lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN).They prayed the court for an order striking out and/or dismissing the suit for want of jurisdiction.The PDP in its originating summons, had sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), APC, Tinubu and Shettima as 1st to 4th defendant respectively.In the suit dated and filed July 28 by Karina Tunyan (SAN), PDP prayed for an order disqualifying the APC, Tinubu and Shettima from contesting the presidential election scheduled to hold on the February 25 or thereabout.The party urged the court to declare that by virtue of Section 35 of the Electoral Act, 2022 the nomination of the 4th defendant (Shettima) is void for allowing himself to be nominated in more than one constituency.It also prayed that  by virtue of the provisions of Section 33 of the Electoral Act, 2022, a political party shall not be allowed to produce and submit a fresh candidate to replace a withdrawn candidate for an election without a primary election conducted to elect that candidate,  among others.But in a 19-ground brought forward by Tinubu and Shettima in their motions filed November 8, they said the PDP lacked the locus standi to institute the action, describing their emergence as “an internal affairs of the party which is non-justiciable.”They also described the PDP’s suit as an abuse of court process, having been decided by a sister court in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1016/2022 on Sept. 22 by Justice Donatus Okorowo.They argued that the subject matter and principal reliefs sought in the earlier suit are the same as the subject matter and reliefs contained in the present suit. Tinubu and Shettima argued that the suit, as presently constituted, disclosed no reasonable cause of action against them, hence the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain it.When the matter was called for mention, yesterday, counsel to the PDP,  A. M. Kotoye (SAN) told the court that all the defendants had been served with the originating summons, though INEC and APC were not represented in court.Thomas Ojo, who appeared for Tinubu and Shettima, informed the court that his clients had already prepared their counter affidavits and motions on notice which would be served on the parties.



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