Fresh suit to stop Tinubu’s inauguration filed at Court of Appeal

A FRESH suit has been filed at the Court of Appeal to stop the inauguration of President-elect Bola Tinubu on May 29.

In the suit, the candidate of the defunct Hope Democratic Party (HDP) in the 2019 presidential election, Ambrose Owuru, asked the Court of Appeal in Abuja to stop the inauguration Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate who was declared winner of the 2023 presidential election.

Owuru, a constitutional lawyer, in the suit marked CA/CV/259/2023 filed alongside Hope Democratic Party (HDP), is praying the court for an order stopping the inauguration.

Owuru had earlier claimed he won the 2019 presidential election and had filed a suit, which is still pending in court, seeking to be declared President and sworn in, in the place of President Muhammadu Buhari.

In the latest suit, he prayed the Court of Appeal to prohibit Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), from inaugurating the 2023 President-elect on May 29.

Listed as respondents in the motion on notice are Buhari, the AGF and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, and INEC.

In addition, he requested a second order declaring that any form of inauguration Buhari holds on May 29, 2023, will be treated as an “interim placeholder” administration while his substantive appeal is heard and decided.

An eight-paragraph affidavit supporting the request asks the Court of Appeal for a speedy hearing before Tinubu is sworn in.

In the affidavit deposed to by an Abuja-based legal practitioner, Adebayo Anafowode, Oworu said he was concerned that the pending lawsuit he filed against Buhari should be given a prompt hearing so it would not be rendered ineffective.

“The applicant (Owuru) as the adjudged winner of the February 16, 2019, presidential election reserves the right of first refusal over any later presidential election returns in the face of usurpation of adjudged acquired constitutional rights.”

The court has not fixed a date for hearing of the suit.

The ICIR reported in January 2023 that an Abuja Federal High Court dismissed a suit filed by Owuru to challenge Buhari’s emergence as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019.

Owuru contested the 2019 presidential election on the platform of the defunct Hope Democratic Party (HDP).

The presiding judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, threw out the suit on three significant grounds.

According to the judge, the suit constituted a gross abuse of the court process.

He also held that it was statute barred and an affront to the supremacy of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

    Justice Ekwo further held that the suit was baseless and frivolous.

    Owuru had, in the suit, asked the court to declare the seat of the President vacant and swear him in as the authentic winner of the 2019 presidential election.

    Additionally, he asked the court to rule on the legitimacy or otherwise of INEC’s 2019 decision to move the poll from February 16 to March 23.

    Following the dismissal of the suit at the Federal High Court, Owuru filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal.

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