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Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Tinubu’s Inauguration Over 25% In FCT, Fines Lawyer N20M 

The case was dismissed on technical grounds, as the judge said it was supposed to be heard by the electoral tribunal, not the high court.

A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a lawsuit contesting the election of President Bola Tinubu by saying he was unqualified to be President-Elect as he did not gather the 25% of votes in the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.

The court ruled that the high court could not rule on the lawsuit brought by five Abuja residents who wanted to halt Tinubu’s inauguration.

The presiding judge, Inyang Ekwo, rejected the argument of the plaintiffs that a president-elect must receive a minimum of 25% of his or her votes from the federal capital territory. He then dismissed the case, saying that the plaintiffs had no locus standi to file the lawsuit, since the presidential election petition tribunal, not the high court, should have heard their case.

Ekwo then ordered the lawyer representing the residents to pay N10 million each to the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).

Anyaegbunam Okoye, David Adzer, Jeffrey Ucheh Osang Paul, and Chibuike Nwanchukwu filed the lawsuit on behalf of themselves as well as other FCT residents and registered voters.

They asked the court, among other things, to decide “whether or not the person who is to be elected president of the federal republic of Nigeria, and consequently administrator of the FCT through the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and the Federal Capital Territory Development Authority, on the first ballot is required by section 134(2)(b) of the Constitution to obtain at least 25% of the votes cast in the FCT.

“Whether the plaintiffs and other residents and registered voters in the FCT Abuja would not be discriminated against if any state within the federal republic of Nigeria were substituted for the FCT.”

Additionally, the plaintiffs demanded that President Muhammadu Buhari’s term be declared to be extended till the appointment of his successor in compliance with the constitution.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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