Court Rules On Motions Seeking Tinubu, Atiku’s Disqualification
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has rejected a motion seeking to disqualify Bola Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Ezenwoko’s Blog reports that the Incorporated Trustees of Rights for All International and the Northern Nigerian Youth Democrats had filed a motion asking the court to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognizing Tinubu and Abubakar as APC and PDP presidential flagbearers.
The plaintiffs stated this in the ex-parte motion marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/942/2022, dated and filed June 22 by the plaintiffs’ counsel, Kingdom Okere.
Ruling on an ex-parte motion on Tuesday, Justice Inyang Ekwo said it was proper to hear from other parties and ordered the applicant to put all the defendants on notice.
The judge further ordered the lawyer to effect service of the court papers on the defendants within seven days of the order and adjourned until July 14 for further mention.
The application’s listed defendants include the APC, PDP, Tinubu, Atiku, Nyesom Wike, Bukola Saraki, Anyim Pius Anyim, Bala Mohammed, Udom Emmanuel, Terella Diana, Dele Momodu, Ayo Fayose, Charles Ugwu and Chikwendu Kalu as 1st to 14th defendants respectively.
Others are Sam Ohuabunwa, Chukwuemeka Nwajuba, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Ahmad Yerima, Rochas Okorocha, Tein Jack-Rich, Ben Ayade, David Umahi, Dr. Ahmad Lawal, Yemi Osinbajo, Rotimi Amaechi, Yahaya Bello, Ogbonnaya Onu, Chief Ikeobasi Mokelu, INEC and EFCC as 15th to 30th respectively.
Among the orders the court declined to include “an order restraining, prohibiting and barring the 29th defendant (INEC) from accepting the nomination of the 3rd and 4th defendants (Tinubu and Atiku) as the presidential candidates of the 1st and 2nd defendants (APC and PDP) for the 2023 presidential election pending the hearing of the motion on notice or as may otherwise be directed by the Hon. Court.
“An order directing all parties in this suit to maintain status quo which existed before the suit pending as may otherwise be directed by this Hon. Court.
“A directing speedy hearing/fast-tracking of this suit and abridging the time within which the plaintiffs and defendants may file their respective defence/responses in this suit to five days from the date of granting this application.”
But the court granted an order of substituted service on Tinubu, Atiku, Wike, Saraki, Nwajuba, Bakare, Yerima, Okorocha, Jack-Rich, among others.
It also granted an order of substituted service on all the defendants through a publication of only the originating summons in a national daily.
Okere, who gave seven grounds why the orders should be granted, said the “suit is a public interest suit that seeks to promote constitutional democracy, rule of law, the Federal Character Principle and principles of equity, justice and fairness in holding the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” among others.