The Supreme Court on Monday fixed May 26 for the judgement on the alleged double nomination of vice president-elect Kashim Shettima filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The judgement, slated three days before the presidential inauguration, would determine whether Mr Shettima would be sworn in as the vice president or if his candidacy would be truncated.
If affirmed, Mr Shettima’s disqualification could truncate the swearing in of Bola Tinubu as president since they ran a joint ticket.
Senior lawyer Joe Agim told the Court that the All Progressives Congress(APC) had earlier admitted Mr Shettima’s double nomination at the appellate court, but the APC denied the allegation.
Mr Agim, citing a case involving Uche Nwosu against ADP as precedent, asserted that his respondents did not deserve to speak, let alone make any argument, over the alleged double nomination.
“There’s a punishment for double nomination. They ought not to be heard,” Mr Agim told the highest court on Monday. “It should never happen in this country.”
But the APC lawyer, Omosanya Popoola, rebuked his colleague saying the motion did not hold water as the Federal High Court has ruled that PDP had no locus standi to bring up the matter, a judgement that was later upheld by the Court of Appeal.
He further said the matter, being a pre-election matter, had exceeded the time in which it can be challenged, saying it was too late for the PDP to raise the matter at the Supreme Court after 180 days.
“This matter has long expired, well over 200 days,” asserted Mr Popoola, hinting it was a pre-election matter.
But Mr Agi argued that the number of days was not an issue based on Uche Nwosu’s precedent, in which he quoted the Supreme Court as previously saying “time does not run” when treating matters of double nomination.
Having lost at the trial and appellate courts, PDP was asking the Supreme Court to invoke its powers and assume jurisdiction over the matter to set aside the previous judgements made by the lower courts and reexamine their arguments.
At issue was Mr Shettima’s vice-presidential and Borno Central senatorial nominations, which the PDP said contravenes the provisions of the Electoral Act.
The PDP said it was illegal to compete for two positions at the same time, alleging Mr Shettima’s senatorial nomination was not withdrawn from the electoral commission.
The five-member justices, led by Inyang Okoro, said the Court will give its judgement on Friday, May 26.
But preparations are in full gear in the APC camp for the presidential inauguration that would see Mr Shettima taking the vice presidential oath of office on May 29 unless the Supreme Court’s judgement says otherwise.