Kenneth Okonkwo Reacts As Tribunal Strikes Out Petition On Shettima’s Disqualification

Labour Party (LP) Chieftain, Kenneth Okonkwo, has reacted to the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) judgement on the double nomination of the vice president, Kashim Shettima.

Naija News earlier reported that PEPC declared that it lacks the powers to hear the petition of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) challenging the qualification of President Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima as candidates of their party.

Reading the lead judgment on Wednesday, Justice Haruna Tsammani, held that the issues brought before the tribunal are pre-election matters, which ought to have been at a high court.

Justice Tsammani referred to the judgment of the Supreme Court delivered on May 26, where the apex court dismissed an appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In a post via X, formerly known as Twitter, Kenneth Okonkwo said the outcome of the court ruling is the primary reason to avoid swearing in candidates when election petitions have not been concluded.

He claimed that PEPC relied on the purported letter of withdrawal written to APC by Shettima, which contradicts the date President Tinubu had picked him as the vice presidential candidate.

He wrote: “Just listened to the initial judgement of the PEPC and saw how the court relied on a purported letter of withdrawal written to APC by Shettima on July 6,2023, to indicate an intention not to be doubly nominated for both the position of Borno Central Senatorial seat and that of the Vice-President.

“Maybe the court forgot that it was on July 10, 2023, at Daura, that Tinubu said openly that he had chosen Shettima as Vice-Presidential candidate and that Shettima was not aware of it yet.

“How can someone withdraw his nomination from the Senate because of nomination for the Vice-Presidential seat at a time when he wasn’t aware that he was going to be nominated for the post of the Vice-President.

“This is why a lot of people believe the letter was written after the Respondents realised that they were in trouble of offending the double nomination provision. Evaluation of evidence must be logical. This is why judgement in election petitions must be concluded before candidates are sworn in.”

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