An Abuja lawyer, Mr. Osigwe Momoh, has instituted a suit against the All Progressives Congress, APC, at the Federal High Court in Abuja, insisting that its decision to field its presidential and vice presidential candidates from the same religion for the 2023 Election was unconstitutional from 1999 as amended.
As a result, the plaintiff prays that the court quashes the candidacy of APC presidential flag bearer Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and his running mate Kashima Shettima who are both of the Muslim faith.
He further sought the order of a perpetual injunction restraining the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, from accepting, recognizing, or publishing their names as honorary candidates for the forthcoming presidential election.
Named as 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1188/2022 are APC, Tinubu, and INEC respectively.
Momoh argued that the APC’s decision to select Tinubu and his running mate Shettima from the same religion was a gross violation of the principle and spirit of the Nigerian Constitution.
He argued that political parties must, by virtue of Chapter Two of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended), have their presidential and vice-presidential candidates from different sections (tribal and religious groups) of the nation.
Among other things, the plaintiff seeks a determination that “on the basis of § 14 para. 1 and 3), 15 and 224 letters are bound by the principles of Chapter II of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and having presidential and vice presidential candidates of the same religion are unconstitutional and invalid.
“That all political parties must by virtue of Chapter Two of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) have their presidential and vice presidential candidates from the various sectional (tribal and religious) groups of the nation.
Like “An Ordinance canceling the candidature of APC, Tinubu (1st and 2nd), the same is unconstitutional and against the spirit and letters of Sections 14 (1) and (3), 15, and 224 (a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended from in 1999.
Meanwhile, no date has been set for the matter to be heard.