Court dismisses another Nwajiuba suit seeking removal of Tinubu as APC flagbearer

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A federal high court in Abuja has dismissed a suit filed by Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, former minister of state for education, seeking recognition as the elected presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

 

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1114/2022, filed against Bola Tinubu, APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Nwajuiba sought an order restraining INEC from accepting Tinubu as the party’s presidential candidate on the grounds that he was nominated in breach of the law.

 

The former minister also prayed the court for an order mandating INEC to immediately expunge Tinubu’s name from the list of candidates for the 2023 presidential election and replace him (Nwajuiba) as the authentic candidate.

 

But in a preliminary objection argued by Thomas Ojo, counsel for Tinubu, and Julius Ishola, who appeared for the APC, the defendants prayed the court to dismiss the case for being statute barred.

They argued that some of the issues raised were pre-election matters and issues within the domestic affairs of the party.

 

They also submitted that the suit constitutes an abuse of court process since similar issues have been determined in a sister case filed by the former minister before Inyang Ekwo, a federal high court judge.

 

Delivering judgment on Friday, Zainab Abubakar, presiding judge, held that the suit was statute barred, having been filed outside the 14 days period prescribed by section 285(9) of the 1999 constitution.

 

Abubakar upheld the arguments raised in the preliminary objections of the defence counsel, adding that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

 

Consequently, the suit was dismissed.

 

Nwajuiba had resigned from his ministerial position to contest the presidential primary election of the APC.

 

Meanwhile, in another judgment delivered on Friday, Ahmed Mohammed, federal high court judge, dismissed a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/ 1094/ 2022 and filed by one Menuma Suleiman and three others against INEC, APC, Tinubu, national assembly and attorney-general of the federation

 

The plaintiffs had argued that Tinubu submitted forged certificates to the electoral umpire to enable him contest the election.

 

However, the judge agreed with the objections of the defendants that the plaintiffs lacked the locus standi to institute the suit having not participated in the presidential primaries.

 

The suit was dismissed.

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