The Court of Appeal on Wednesday ruled that Vice-President Kashim Shettima’s double nomination as a vice-presidential candidate and senatorial candidate was not intentional and should not be used to disqualify President Bola Tinubu’s election.
The decision was read on Wednesday as part of the ongoing verdict on the petitions filed by opposition parties against Mr Tinbubu’s declaration as president in February.
The ruling was delivered by Justice Haruna Tsamani, the lead jurist on the petitions, while reading the panel’s opinion in the case brought by the Allied People’s Movement (APM) that argued that Mr Shettima violated the electoral law when he entered his nomination as Mr Tinubu’s running mate on July 14 while still remaining the senatorial candidate in his home Borno State.
“There exists no display of intention by the fourth respondent (Mr Shettima) to stand as the nominated candidate of the second respondent (Mr Tinubu) for the vice presidential position and also the senator representing Borno Central district in the general elections of February 25, 2022,” Mr Tsamani said. “There cannot be any other interpretation in the circumstance unless there is clear intention to knowingly stand as a candidate for two elective posts in same election cycle.”
“No person is permitted to further litigate on it in any action or proceeding. It is therefore settled and remain settled that this petition which questions the qualification and seeks to disqualify third and 4th respondents (Messrs Tinubu and Shettima, respectively) from contesting as president and vice president of Nigeria on grounds of double and multiple nominations has no substance,” the judge added.
The Court of Appeal’s decision that Mr Shettima’s double nomination cannot be challenged by an opposing political party contradicts the position of the Supreme Court, which, in February 2020, invalidated the election of David Lyon as Bayelsa governor because his running mate Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo was not properly nominated due to defects in his names on official records.
The case was brought by the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate Duoye Diri. Mr Diri subsequently assumed office as governor.