A Senior Advocate of Nigeria and elder statesman, Robert Clarke, has said the verdict of Justice Haruna Tsammani-led five-member panel of the Presidential Petition Election Tribunal (PEPT) on a petition of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) challenging the qualification of Vice President, Kashim Shettima, was correct.
Bahdstreetvibes recalls that the Tribunal, on Wednesday, dismissed the petition on the premise that the issue of disqualification or qualification is a pre-election matter, which should have been challenged before the presidential election.
“The issue of qualification or disqualification is a constitutional one. The issue of disqualification or qualification is a pre-election matter. It must be determined before the conduct of the election. This court has no jurisdiction to hear the matter and even if it does it is status-barred because it is a pre-election matter,” Tsammani said.
Reacting to the dismissal of the matter while speaking as a guest on the Arise News TV programme, Clarke opined that it was evident that the case brought by the APM to disqualify Shettima was not in the jurisdiction of the Tribunal.
He, however, stated that the aggrieved party has the right to seek redress in the Supreme Court.
“The Constitution only allows the Tribunal to look into the conduct of an election and not to look at the matters that are not part of the election.
“But, what I’m saying is that there are two sides of the coin. The litigants have gotten the judgment of the Tribunal, but can still go to the Supreme Court whether the matter is a pre-election matter or not.”
“The Tribunal is correct. I have no hesitation in saying I accept the verdict of the Tribunal. By the virtue of the provision of our own law, our constitution either of the parties may wish to apply,” Clarke said.