Court rules in motions seeking Tinubu, Atiku’s disqualification

On Tuesday, a Federal High Court in Abuja refused to grant a motion seeking an order compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reject Bola Tinubu as the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate (APC), Charmingpro reports

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The court also denied the petition, which asked INEC not to recognize Atiku Abubakar as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate for the next election.

In a ruling, Justice Inyang Ekwo ordered the plaintiffs, Incorporated Trustees of Rights for All International (RAI) and Northern Nigerian Youth Democrats (NNYD), to serve all defendants with notice.

However, Justice Ekwo granted prayers four, five, and six in the ex-parte motion marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/942/2022, which was dated and filed on June 22 by the plaintiffs’ counsel, Kingdom Okere.

The judge also ordered the lawyer to serve the court papers on the defendants within seven days of the order and adjourned the case until July 14 for further consideration.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), RAI and NNYD filed the motion seeking six orders through their lawyer.

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 are named as defendants in the application, from first to fourteenth.

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,

Among the orders denied by the court was “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 the Hon. Court may otherwise direct.”

“An order directing all parties in this suit to maintain the status quo that existed prior to the pending suit, unless otherwise directed by this Hon. Court.”

“An order directing a speedy hearing/fast-tracking of this suit and limiting the time within which the plaintiffs and defendants may file their respective defenses/responses in this suit to five days from the date this application is granted.”

However, the court granted substituted service orders to Tinubu, Atiku, Wike, Saraki, Nwajuba, Bakare, Yarima, Okorocha, and Jack-Rich, among others.

It also granted substituted service on all defendants by publishing only the originating summons in a national daily.

Okere stated that 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 President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” among other reasons why the orders should be granted.

The lawyer requests that the court rule on “whether, having regard to the clear, unambiguous, and express provisions, spirit, and tenor of ARTICLES 11 (A) (I), 12 (1), AND 13 (1) of the Constitution of the APC, 2014 (as amended), the special national convention of the first defendant held on June 6 and June 7 was properly constituted in terms of the composition of delegates who should attend and vote at the said convention.”

“Whether, in light of the clear, unambiguous, and express provisions, spirit, and tenor of Section 33 (1) AND (5) (C) of the PDP Constitution, 2017, (as amended), the special national convention of the second defendant held on May 28 and May 29, was properly constituted in terms of the composition of delegates who should attend and vote at the said convention,” among other things.


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