From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The controversy over the same-faith presidential ticket adopted by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has led to a suit before the Abuja division of the Federal High Court, seeking to invalidate the candidacy of Bola Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima.
The plaintiff, Mr Osigwe Momoh, who is an Abuja-based argued that the decision of the APC to field same-faith candidates for the 2023 election was in breach of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1188/ 2022, the aggrieved lawyer has further sought an order of perpetual injunction to restrain the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, from accepting, recognising or publishing the names of Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashima Shettima, as bonafide candidates for the impending presidential election.
He listed the APC, Tinubu and Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as 1st, 2nd and 3rd Defendants, respectively.
The plaintiff equally claimed that APC’s decision to pick Tinubu and his running mate, Shettima, from the same religion, was in gross violation of the principle and the spirit of the Nigerian constitution.
It is his contention that political parties must, by virtue of Chapter Two of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), have their Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates from different sections (tribal and religious groups) of the nation.
The plaintiff is, among other things, seeking a declaration that “by virtue of Sections 14 (1) and (3), 15 and 224(a) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the defendants are bound by the principles of Chapter II of the 1999 constitution (as amended) and having the presidential and vice presidential candidates of the same religion is unconstitutional and null and void.
“That all Political Parties must, by virtue of chapter two of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), have their presidential and vice presidential candidates from different sectional (tribal and religious) groups of the nation”.
He is also pressing for “An order nullifying the candidacy of the APC, Tinubu (1st And 2nd), same being unconstitutional and against the spirit and letters of Sections 14 (1) & (3), 15 and 224 (a) of the amended 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”