The leading opposition party in the country, Peoples Democratic Party has instituted a lawsuit seeking the Independent National Electoral Commission to prevent All Progressives Congress Presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu; and Labour Party standard bearer, Peter Obi, from replacing their running mates with Senator Kashim Shettima and Senator Datti Baba-Ahmed respectively.
The PDP is also asking the court to declare that Tinubu and Obi be disqualified unless they contest alongside their previous running mates – Kabiru Masari and Doyin Okupe respectively.
The suit with number FHC/ABJ/CS/1016/2022, the PDP is seeking an order barring the Independent National Electoral Commission from replacing the running mates of Tinubu and Obi.
Those listed as first to seventh respondents in the case are INEC, APC, Tinubu, Masari, Labour Party, Obi and Okupe.
It is instructive to note that Tinubu had nominated Masari as a surrogate running mate or placeholder in order to beat the June 17 INEC deadline. Obi had also nominated his campaign manager, Okupe, as an interim running mate. However, INEC gave a grace period of about one month to substitute their names.
After weeks of consultations, Tinubu and Obi nominated Shettima and Baba-Ahmed respectively while Masari and Okupe resigned.
However, the PDP asked the court to determine if by the combined interpretation of Section 142(1) of the constitution, Section 29(1), 31 and 33 of the Electoral Act 2022, and INEC’s timetable, Tinubu and Obi are bound by the submission of Masari and Okupe respectively as their running mates.