Palpable fears seem to have gripped the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as the Nigerian Supreme Court set to deliver judgement on the alleged double nominations of the APC’s Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima, in the case brought against him by the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP).
The judgement comes three days before the inuguration, will determine if the vice president elect, would be sworn in as the vice president or if his candidacy would be disqualified.
It was gathered that the judgement of the Apex Court, if it worked against Shettima, is likely going to stop the swearing in of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, as President since both ran on a joint ticket.
Joe Agim (SAN), on Monday told the Court that APC had earlier admitted Shettima’s double nomination at the appellate court, but said the party, later denied the allegations.
According Agim cited a case of Uche Nwosu against ADP, as a precedent, claiming that his respondents doesnt 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,” Agim said, adding that “It should never happen in this country.”
Meanwhile, the APC lawyer, Omosanya Popoola, countered Agim, detailing that the motion did not hold water as the Federal High Court had ruled that PDP had no locus standi to bring up the matter, a judgement that was later upheld by the Court of Appeal.
According to him, the matter, is purely an pre-election matter, explaining that it had exceeded the time in which it could be challenged, stating that 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,” Popoola said.
But Agim argued that the number of days was not an issue based on Uche Nwosu’s precedent, and quoted the Supreme Court as previously saying, “time does not run” when treating matters of double nomination.
Recall that the PDP lost at the lower and appellate courts, before approaching 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.
Shettima was nominated for vice-presidential and Borno Central senatorial nominations, a case that the PDP said contravenes the provisions of the Electoral Act.
According to the PDP, it was illegal to compete for two positions at the same time, alleging Shettima’s senatorial nomination was not withdrawn from the electoral commission.
The five-member justices, led by Inyang Okoro, said the Court would give its judgement on May 26.
However, the outgoing President Buhari on Thursday, confered the President-elect, and Vice-President elect, Bola Tinubu, and Kashim Shettima, two highest National Honours in the country.
The President-elect Bola Tinubu and the Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima, ahead of the official inauguration, On May 29, recieved the highest national award of Grand Commander of the Order of Federal Republic (GCFR), while Shettima was bestwoed with the second highest national honour of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON), four days to their handing over ceremony.
The awards were awarded on the two by the outgoing President Buhari at an investiture ceremony on Thursday morning at the State House, Abuja.