May 26, (THEWILL) – A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has dismissed a joint suit filed by three persons, seeking to stop the inauguration of the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his Vice, Kashim Shettima, on May 29.
The plaintiffs, Praise Ilemona Isaiah, Pastor Paul Isaac Audu and Anongu Moses had approached the court to stop the inauguration over the alleged age falsification and dual citizenship of the President-elect.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/ 657/2023, the plaintiffs alleged that Tinubu lied on oath in his form EC9 that he was not a citizen of another country, adding that Tinubu also lied on oath about his age.
They argued that Tinubu’s action was in gross violation of Section 117 of the Criminal Code Act as well as Section 156 of the Penal Code Act.
Consequently, they prayed the court to order that Tinubu be arrested, detained and prevented from being sworn in, pending the determination of cases before the Presidential Election Petition Court. They equally prayed the court to ban Tinubu from vying for any elective position for the next 10 years.
However, in a ruling on Friday, Justice James Omotosho held that the suit was frivolous and an abuse of court process
According to Justice Omotosho, the plaintiffs lacked the locus standi to file the suit, adding that the court could not exercise jurisdiction to hear it because it relates to a presidential election.
Justice Omotosho, who held that the suit was filed in bad faith and aimed to expose the judiciary to ridicule, said the court would not lend itself to be used as an instrument to destabilise the country.
He threatened to petition the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee against the plaintiffs’ lawyer for instituting an action “capable of dragging the judiciary to the mud”.
Consequently, Omotosho dismissed the suit and awarded a cost of N10 million in Tinubu’s favour, and N5 million in favour of the APC, to be paid by the plaintiffs.
The judge also ordered the counsel to the plaintiffs to pay N1 million to each of the respondents in the suit.
The respondents include the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).