Supreme Court dismisses suit querying Tinubu’s qualification

The Supreme Court has dismissed a suit filed by three members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) which sought to disqualify the President-elect Bola Tinubu, claiming he was not qualified to contest the last presidential election.

In the judgement, it held that the appellants led by one Memuna Suleiman, lacked the locus standi to have instituted the case before the Federal High Court. When the case was called, a five-member panel of the Supreme Court noted that the appellants, who were not aspirants at the APC presidential primary could not challenge Tinubu’s nomination.

Upon the court’s observation, lawyer to the appellants applied to withdraw the appeal, following which the court dismissed it. The court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeal delivered on February 17.

Suleiman and two others had in the suit filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja, marked:

FHC/ABJ/CS/1094/2022 listed the v. APC, Tinubu, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), the National Assembly and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as defendants.

They had prayed the court to, among others, declare Tinubu has not met the minimum educational qualification to contest for the position of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

They urged the court to issue an order disqualifying the Tinubu as the candidate of the APC for the February 25 presidential election.

The plaintiffs equally sought an order restraining Tinubu from parading himself as the presidential candidate of the APC and a further order directing INEC not to recognise Tinubu as APC’s candidate.

In a judgment on November 2022, Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court held that the plaintiffs had misjoined causes of action and lacked the locus standi to institute and maintain the action against the APC.

Justice Mohammed, after holding that the plaintiffs, who were not aspirants in the primaries of the APC, lacked locus standi and being a threshold issue, the court dismissed the suit as lacking in merit.

On appeal, the Court of Appeal in a judgment on February 17, 2023 upheld the respondents’ objection and struck out the notice of appeal filed by Suleiman and others.

The court, while determining the appeal on the merit, held, among others, that the appeal lacked merit and proceeded to dismiss it.

It was the February 17 decision of the Court of Appeal that the Supreme Court affirmed in its March 29 judgment.

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