Federal High Court asked to stop APC, INEC from replacing Masari as Tinubu’s running mate

Federal High Court asked to stop APC, INEC from replacing Masari as Tinubu’s running mate

A Federal High Court in Abuja has been asked to stop the All Progressives Congress, APC, from replacing Kabiru Masari as the running mate to Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the party in the 2023 presidential election.

Shortly after Tinubu emerged as the presidential candidate of the APC, the name of Masari was submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as an interim Vice Presidential candidate.

However, two chieftains of the party, who were delegates in the just concluded APC National Convention, Zakari Maigari and Zubainatu Mohammed, approached the court to stop INEC from accepting a change of vice-presidential candidate from APC.

The plaintiffs joined, APC, INEC, Tinubu and Kabiru Masari as defendants.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ CS/1059/2022 and dated July 4, 2022, the plaintiffs want the court to determine whether having regard to the combined effect of sections 142(1) and sections 29(1), 31 and 33 of the Electoral Act, it is legally permissible for the 4th Defendant to withdraw as the vice-presidential candidate of the 1st Defendant and the running mate of the 3rd Defendant so as to be substituted or replaced with another person by the 1st Defendant as its candidate for the office of Vice President for purpose of the February 25, 2023, Presidential Election.

They also want the court to determine whether, given the joint ticket provision in section 142(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, the withdrawal of the 4h Defendant as the candidate for the office of Vice President does not entail the automatic withdrawal of the 3rd Defendant as the candidate for the office of President for purpose of the 2003 General Elections.

The plaintiffs in the suit sought the following reliefs: “Whether having regard to the combined effect of sections 142(1) and sections 29(1), 31 and 33 of the Electoral Act, it is legally permissible for the 4th defendant to withdraw as the Vice-presidential candidate of the 1st defendant and the running mate of the 3rd defendant so as to be substituted or replaced with another person by the 1st defendant as its candidate for the office of Vice President for purpose of the February 25, 2023, Presidential Election.

“Whether in view of the joint ticket provision in section 142(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, the withdrawal of the 4h Defendant as the candidate for the office of Vice President does not entail the automatic withdrawal of the 3rd Defendant as the candidate for the office of President for purpose of the 2023 General Elections.

“Whether having regard to the provisions of sections 29(1), 31 and 33 of the Electoral Act 2022, the 1” Defendant is entitled to submit the name of any other person to replace the name of the 4 Defendant as the candidate for the office of Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, without holding a fresh primary election to produce a fresh presidential candidate.

“Whether the 3 Defendant having nominated the 4 Defendant in compliance with section 142(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, the 3 Defendant can subsequently validly undertake or effect nomination of any other person to replace the 3” Defendant whether upon withdrawal of the 4 Defendant or under any other circumstances, in view of the provisions of section 33 of the Electoral Act, 2022.

The plaintiffs pointed out that Section 187 (1) of the Constitution creates the Governorship candidate and Deputy-Governorship candidate joint ticket, just as section 142(1) establishes the joint ticket for the Presidential candidate and Vice-Presidential candidate.

Meanwhile, no date has yet been fixed for hearing of the suit.