2023: Court refuses to order INEC to remove Tinubu’s name from eligible presidential candidates’ list

The Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, has declined to issue an ‘order of mandamus’ to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remove the name of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu, from the list of qualified candidates for the February 25 presidential election.

The suit was brought before the court by a non-governmental organisation (NGO), under the aegis of the Incorporated Trustees of Kingdom Human Rights Foundation International.

In a judgement that was delivered by Justice Binta Nyako yesterday, the court dismissed the suit which accused the APC of failing to comply with mandatory provisions of section 90 (3) of the Electoral Act, 2022, in nominating Tinubu as its presidential candidate.

Justice Nyako held that the plaintiff, not being a registered political party in the country, lacked the locus-standi (legal right) to institute the action.

The court noted that the plaintiff had earlier filed a similar suit that was dismissed for want of merit.

Though the court accused the plaintiff of engaging in an abuse of the judicial process through multiplicity of actions, it however commended its lawyer, Jideobi Johnmary, for his erudition.

The court decided that since the plaintiff had no right to file the action, there was no need to consider any of the issues it raised against Tinubu.

However, both the APC and Tinubu, who were cited in the suit as 2nd and 3rd Defendants, filed preliminary objections to challenge the competence of the suit.

The defendants described the suit as non-justiciable, adding that it was statute barred since it was not filed within 14 days after Tinubu’s name was submitted to the INEC.

Consequently, they prayed the court to decline jurisdiction and dismiss the suit.

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