According to two documents submitted by Senator Shettima to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which were obtained by Mr. Peter Gregory Obi and the Labour Party (LP), Shettima is not eligible to run for office.
One of the documents, dated July 14, 2022, revealed that Ibrahim Kabir Masari, who was initially presented as Shettima’s running mate, withdrew his candidacy. Although INEC stamped the document on July 15, 2022, it still indicates that Shettima is disqualified from running for office.
See the attached document below:
On July 15, 2022, a document was submitted to INEC showing that Shettima, previously a Borno Central senatorial district candidate, withdrew his candidacy and was replaced by Lawan Kaka Shehu. The document was received and stamped by INEC on the same day.
Please refer to the document attached below:
According to the Petitioners, Shettima violated the Electoral Act 2022 by accepting a nomination as the Vice Presidential Candidate to Tinubu on the APC platform while he was still a Senatorial candidate for Borno Central Constituency. This allegedly took place on July 14, 2022. The Petitioners used Form EC11A, signed by Shettima and INEC officials on the same date, to support their claim.
Labour Party/Peter Obi contended:
“The 1st Respondent was a candidate nominated by the 4th Respondent for the office of Senate in the Borno Central Senatorial Constituency until July 15, 2022, when he signed the Independent National Electoral Commission Senatorial Election Notice of Withdrawal of Candidate purporting to withdraw from the contest called Form EC11C. The Petitioners hereby plead and shall, at the trial, rely on the following:
(i) Affidavit and Personal Particulars (Form EC9) submitted by the 3rd Respondent for Borno Central Senatorial Constituency sworn to on June 14, 2022, and received by the 1st Respondent on June 17, 2022.
(ii) Affidavit in support or Personal Particulars (Form EC9) submitted by the 3rd Respondent for the office of the Vice Presidential Candidate for the Constituency of Nigeria (the Federal Republic of Nigeria) received by the Is1 Respondent on July 15, 2022.
(iii) Notice of withdrawal of Candidate (pursuant to section 33 of the Electoral Act, 2022), Form EC11A dated July 14, 2022, signed by the 3rd Respondent as the New Candidate (Vice Presidential) of the All-Progressives Congress and also containing the passport picture of the 3rd Respondent as New Candidate.
(iv) Notice of Withdrawal of Candidate (Pursuant to Section 33 of the Electoral Act, 2022), Form EC11C dated July 15, 2022, signed by the 3rd Respondent as the withdrawing Candidate of the All-Progressives Congress for Borno Central Senatorial Constituency and also containing the passport picture of the 3rd Respondent.
“As at the time the 3rd Respondent purportedly became a Vice Presidential Candidate, he was still the nominated Senatorial Candidate of the 4th Respondent for the Senatorial election for the Borno Central Senatorial Constituency.
“The Petitioners shall contend at the trial that the purported sponsorship of the 2nd and 3rd Respondents by the 4th Respondent was rendered invalid by reason of the 3rd Respondent knowingly allowing himself to be nominated as the Vice-Presidential Candidate whilst he was still a Senat01ial Candidate for the Borno Central Constituency.
“The Petitioners shall further contend that for this reason, the votes purportedly recorded for the 2nd Respondent at the contested Presidential election were/are wasted votes and ought to be disregarded.’
In response to the petition, Tinubu asserted that his running mate is highly qualified to run for the 2023 presidential election. He argued that as of July 14, 2022, when he was nominated as the APC vice-presidential candidate, Shettima was no longer a Borno Central Senatorial election candidate.
Tinubu stated that Shettima’s withdrawal notice was conveyed to INEC on July 15, 2022, to enable APC to present him as its Vice-Presidential Candidate. However, this proposal was deemed absurd as APC and INEC had different views. While APC claimed that Shettima was nominated for VP on July 14, INEC argued that Shettima withdrew on July 6. A News Band analyst who preferred to remain anonymous weighed in on the matter.
“What INEC is saying is that Shettima wrote a letter of withdrawal on July 6, but the letter didn’t get to INEC until July 13, therefore, Shettima withdrew on the 6th! Does that sound logical?
“APC is saying that Shettima was nominated for VP on July 14, although INEC hadn’t received his withdrawal notice yet. Therefore, they will stick to his withdrawal date as the day he wrote the letter and not the day INEC received it!
“APC said the letter was dated July 6 but delivered to INEC on July 15. INEC said the letter was dated July 6 but was received on the 13th.
“Anyone can write a notice of withdrawal to INEC but leave it at home for as long as they want, but until the letter is in their hands and stamped as received, INEC can’t say they received it earlier or attempt to backdate that withdrawal.
“The most important thing is both of them should submit their contradictory pieces of evidence in court; that’s when they’ll know that the day a letter was received is the day that counts, not the days it took it to arrive in Abuja from Borno.”