Nigeria’s Supreme Court has dismissed a case seeking to disqualify Vice-President-elect Kashim Shettima as the candidate for the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) in February’s general election.
If the case had been carried forward it could have had far-reaching consequences for the candidacy and eventual victory of President elect Bola Tinubu, as they ran on a joint ticket.
The suit filed in July last year by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) argued that Mr Shettima’s nomination as Mr Tinubu’s running mate was in breach of the Nigerian constitution.
They had argued that Mr Shettima’s nomination to contest the positions of both vice-president and the Borno central senatorial seat at the same time contravened the law.
However, a five-member panel of the Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the case lacked merit, and said there was evidence Mr Shettima eventually withdraw his nomination for the senatorial seat.
There had been palpable fear and anxiety before the landmark judgement but the justices also decided that the PDP lacked the power to put forward the lawsuit since it is not a member of the APC.
Justice Adamu Jauro, who delivered the lead judgment, noted that the PDP was meddling in the internal affairs of another party and ordered it to pay a fine of around $4,300 (£3,500).
The Supreme Court ruling has now put the issue to rest and seemingly given a judicial seal of approval for the inauguration of the President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Vice President-elect Kashim Shettima.
They are due to be sworn in on 29 May when outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office after completing a two terms.
However, lawsuits by major opposition parties challenging Mr Tinubu’s election victory are still ongoing at the election petitions tribunal, where hearings will begin on 30 May, a day after Mr Tinubu is sworn in.
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