October 1, 2022

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Placeholder: Calls for Tinubu’s disqualification mischievous – APC Chairman

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, says the recent lawsuit of the Peoples Democratic Party calling for the disqualification of its presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and his counterpart in Labour Party over controversy trailing the use of placeholders cannot be justified.

A fiery Adamu said while he cannot speak on behalf of other political platforms, the ruling party operated with the ambience of the law.

The APC chair made the clarification when he appeared on Arise TV programme on Sunday.

The PDP had instituted a suit compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission to prevent Tinubu and Labour Party standard bearer, Peter Obi, from replacing their running mates with Senator Kashim Shettima and Senator Datti Baba-Ahmed respectively.

The opposition party asked the court to disqualify Tinubu and Obi unless they contest alongside their previous running mates – Kabiru Masari and Doyin Okupe respectively.

While Tinubu nominated Masari as a surrogate running mate to beat the June 17 INEC deadline, Obi also elected his campaign manager, Okupe as a placeholder.

In the originating summons with suit 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 were INEC, APC, Tinubu, Masari, Labour Party, Obi and Okupe.

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.

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The party asked the court to rule that both Tinubu and Obi will be disqualified the moment they substitute the names of their running mates.

However, candidates of both APC and LP defied the legal proceedings and have since replaced the placeholders with Shettima and Baba-Ahmed respectively.

Defending the APC’s action, Adamu maintained that they operated with the dictates of the electoral law, adding that as a legal practitioner, he won’t comment much on the case because it is subjudice.

He stated, “The laws of this land are absolutely clear. No matter how mischievous anyone of us wants to be, there is the law. As far as the APC is concerned, we had a convention where a candidate was chosen for an election.

“Within the legal space available to us and to give us room to assess the candidates that will be desirous for our running mate or vice presidential candidate, we had to submit a name that will hold the position for our nomination. The laws of INEC do allow for this. If it doesn’t, we won’t contemplate.

“It is within the confine and dictates of our electoral laws in this country. It is not something to lose sleep over. We now have a running mate that we have submitted to the INEC. Simple! If you say the PDP has gone to court, let the court decides on the case. It is subjudice anyway.

“For your information, I am a lawyer by my calling. Once a case is in court, it is subjudice. I don’t want to comment on it and I won’t do it beyond what I have just told you now.”

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