The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the appeal filed by the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) challenging the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) affirming President Bola Tinubu’s victory.
Justice Inyang Okoro, leading six other apex court justices, dismissed the appeal, saying that hearing it would amount to “a waste of the precious time of the court’’.
In the appeal, the APM prayed the court to hold that the PEPC misconceived the material facts before it when it struck out its undefended petition against Mr Tinubu’s victory.
The party asked the court to hold that the withdrawal of Kabiru Masari from the race, by operation of law, amounted to automatic withdrawal and invalidation of Mr Tinubu’s candidature as the APC presidential candidate.
Mr Masari was named the running mate of Mr Tinubu before Vice President Kashim Shetima replaced him.
The APM said in its brief of argument by its counsel, Chukwuma-Machukwu-Ume, SAN, that the PEPC wrongly struck out its petition.
The party prayed the court to set aside the lower court’s decision as being misconceived.
The PEPC had dismissed APM’s petition based on pre-hearing motions filed by INEC, APC and Mr Shettima.
According to the APM, the grounds upon which its petition was predicated was that Mr Tinubu was not qualified to contest in line with Section 134(1)(a) of the Electoral Act, 2022, at the time of the presidential election.
Mr Machukwu-Ume told the court that the PEPC misconceived his client’s material facts and case and wrongly progressed to determine issues not contemplated by the appellant’s petition and erroneously dismissed the petition.
However, efforts by Mr Machukwu-Ume to move the appeal were rejected by the panel on the grounds that moving it would amount to wasting the court’s precious time.
Justice Okoro, the presiding justice, insisted that the appeal be withdrawn since the issue had been decided.
“You are not asking us to make your candidate the president if your appeal succeeds.
“You just want to state the law and go home without benefit. We have other appeals that are substantial, and withdrawing this appeal will help reduce the workload on us.
“We have read the appeal and are unanimous that it is a non-issue, having been pronounced upon by this court,’’ Mr Okoro said.
Mr Machukwu-Ume, though reluctant, accepted and withdrew the appeal on behalf of his client, the APM.
All the respondents did not oppose the withdrawal or ask for cost.
The seven-member panel consequently dismissed the appeal after the appellant withdrew it.