By: Sunday Ejike – Abuja
The Supreme Court on Thursday, dismissed an appeal brought before it by a former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, seeking to disqualify Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as presidential candidates of their political parties.
The Apex Court dismissed the suit on the ground that it was statute-barred, having no life support and legs to stand upon.
However, Justice John Inyang Okoro, who presided over a five-member panel of Justices of the Court, while dismissing the appeal did not award any cost against the former Minister for withdrawing his case when informed that the case was filed outside the time prescribed by law.
Nwajiuba and a civil group, the Rights for All International, a non-governmental organisation, had asked the Supreme Court to cancel the processes that produced Tinubu and Abubakar as candidates of their political parties.
The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division had, in February this year dismissed an appeal filed by the former Minister against the judgement of a Federal High Court, which dismissed his suit seeking the cancellation of the processes that produced Tinubu and Abubakar as candidates of their political parties.
Delivering judgement in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/942/2022, the trial Judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo dismissed it, on the ground that the plaintiffs lack the legal rights to file the suit.
However, the plaintiffs appealed the judgement of the trial court at the Court of Appeal on the ground that their, “suit at the lower court was not a pre-election matter as the appellant cannot be said to be a person covered by Section 285(14) a, b, c of the 1999 constitution, being an NGO”.
Delivering judgment, the appellate court again dismissed the suit and awarded N100,000 against the appellants in favour of Tinubu and Atiku.
Upholding the verdict of the lower court, the appeal court ruled that, the appeal lacked merit.
“The appellant is not clothed with locus as can be gleaned from Section 285(14) a, b, and c of the 1999 constitution.
“The appellant is a busybody and a meddlesome interloper” the appellate court held and upheld the judgement of the trial court delivered on December 15, 2022 and awarded N100,000 against the appellants in the favor of Tinubu and Atiku.
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