The Presidential Election Petition Court has started reading the ruling on the petition filed by the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) against President Bola Tinubu.
The head of the five-member bench, Haruna Tsammani, has started reading the ruling.
Recall that APM argues that Vice-President, Kashim Shettima was not qualified to contest the 25 February presidential election as Tinubu’s running mate.
The party claimed that his nomination violated Section 35 of the Electoral Act 2022 and other constitutional provisions.
The party prays the court to void the votes polled by the APC in the election.
He clarifies that the court is sitting as the Court of Appeal and not as a tribunal.
INEC had complained against APM’s introduction of new facts during the hearing of its petition.
Tsammani says it is clear that the claim of qualification or non-qualification is a pre-election matter.
The judge says the issue of disqualification raised by the APM in its petition ought to have been ventilated at the Federal High Court. He says the presidential election court does not have jurisdiction to hear it.
Tsammani also highlights the respondents’ objection that the issue raised by APM ought to have been raised at the Federal High Court within 180 days from 27 July 2022 when Mr Shettima was the APC’s vice-presidential candidate. The window for litigation on such issue, the respondents say, lapsed in January 2023.
The issue of qualification of a candidate of a political party is not an all-comers’ affair, Tsammani added.
He adds that it is not the business of a political party is not the business of another political party.