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Supreme Court Thrashes Nwajiuba Claims Against Tinubu For Lack of Merit

The Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has defeated a former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, who had sought to disqualify the National Leader of the party.

This is because the Supreme Court of Nigeria dismantled the Appeal instituted by the former Minister, seeking to disqualify Tinubu of the APC.

The Supreme Court threw out the Appeal on the ground that it was statute-barred, having no life supporting it and legs to stand upon.

The Apex Court, presided over by Justice John Inyang Okoro, while dismissing the Appeal, however, did not award cost against the former Minister for withdrawing his case when informed that the case was filed outside the time prescribed by law.

It would be recalled that a Federal High Court, Abuja, presided over by Justice Z. B Abubakar had sometime in December 2022 dismissed Nwajiuba’s suit, designated FHC/ABJ/CS/1114/2022 on the ground that the same was lacking in merit.

Apart from Tinubu, another party sued is the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

Nwajiuba had asked the Federal High Court to issue “A declaration that the mandatory provisions of Section 90(3) of the 2022 Electoral Act, 2022 were not complied with by the 2nd Defendant in nominating and submitting the 1st Defendant as its presidential candidate to the 3rd Defendant for the 2023 presidential election.

“A declaration that the combined reading of Section 90(3} of the 2022 Electoral Act and Article 22(1) of the 2nd Defendant’s Constitution, the expression of interest and nomination fees of N100 million each paid to the 2nd Defendant by both the Plaintiff, the 1st Defendant and other presidential aspirants is money and monetary contribution as envisaged in the Act.

“A declaration that the N100 million fees paid by the Plaintiff, 1st Defendant and other Presidential aspirants to the 2nd Defendant as an expression of interest and nomination forms is the first compulsory step and first qualification to participate in the 2nd Defendant’s primary election and is part of the process to conduct a presidential primary election by the 2nd Defendant.

“A declaration that by virtue of Section 84(13) of the Electoral Act 2022, the 1st and 2nd Defendants’ failure to identify the source of the N100 million fees (monetary contributions) to the conduct of the 2nd Defendant’s primary election empowers the 3rd Defendant to exclude the 1st Defendant in the 2023 presidential election.

“A declaration that the plaintiff who contested the All Progressives Congress presidential primary election and whose nomination and expression of interest form fees (monetary contribution) is verified, by producing the list of donors who donated between N500 to N500,000 conforms with the provisions of Section 90(3) of the Electoral Act, 2022.

“A declaration that the Plaintiff being the only candidate who scored vote at the 2nd Defendant’s primary election and who provided source of identification of his monetary contribution in compliance with Section 90(3) of the Electoral Act 2022 where others did not, is the only qualified contestant and his vote at the primary election is the only lawful and valid vote scored at the convention and hereby declared the candidate of the APC for the 2023 presidential election.

In defending the suit on behalf of the APC, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Babatunde Ogala, initiated a Memorandum of Conditional Appearance, a Notice of Preliminary Objection and a Counter-Alfidavit with Written Addresses.

The Preliminary objection was premised on the following grounds: (a) That the suit is statute-barred, (b) That proper parties, i.e. presidential aspirants of the 2nd Defendant were not joined, (c) That the suit was premature by virtue of the provisions of Section 90(4) of the Electoral Act, (d) And the suit constituted an abuse of court process.

On December 19, 2022, when the matter came up for hearing, Mr Gbenga Benson, appeared for the APC and adopted the processes, just as he urged the court to dismiss or strike out the suit.

Wahab Akinlade

Akinlade I. WAHAB is a dedicated journalist and the proprietor of I-WAHAB Media. He embarked on his career at Murhi International TV (MiTV) and subsequently joined Radio Nigeria as a Judicial Correspondent.With a profound interest in legal reporting, he currently holds the positions of Chairman at the National Association of Judicial Correspondents (NAJUC), Ikeja Branch, and Chairman at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Radio Nigeria Chapel.As the owner of I-WAHAB Media, he has successfully established Top Court News, a platform renowned for providing comprehensive coverage of court cases and legal developments, with the aim of promoting transparency within the judicial system.Akinlade's diligent work and unwavering commitment to ethical reporting have earned him immense respect within the Nigerian journalism community.

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