A’Court To Nwajiuba: You’re A Meddlesome Interloper | Dismisses Suit Against Tinubu, Atiku

The Court of Appeal in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has dismissed an appeal filed by a former Minister of State for Education, Dr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba.

The suit was instituted to disqualify Bola Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar as presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The appeal was based on a suit which the High Court dismissed in December 2022.

Nwajiuba and the Rights for All International (RAI), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), had asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to void the processes that produced Tinubu and Abubakar as candidates of the APC and PDP. They alleged that both men bought the votes of delegates to enable them to become flag bearers of their parties. But Justice Inyang Ekwo, dismissed it, saying that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit on the grounds that the plaintiffs do not have the locus standi (the right or capacity) to file the suit.

“It is only in this country that an association registered for charitable purposes will venture into partisan politics with such audacious sense of impunity,” Ekwo had said.

Dissatisfied with the judgment, Nwajiuba appealed the verdict through the NGO.

In a judgment delivered on Friday, the appellate court struck out the suit on the basis of a preliminary objection filed by Babatunde Ogala, counsel to the APC.

“That the 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,” Ogala argued in the preliminary objection.

Upholding the objection, the appeal court panel ruled: “The appeal is lacking in merit and the appellant only sought to revive the dissolved NGO through the back door, the counsel to the Appellant who is also a trustee of the NGO should live with the same in sober reflections.

“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 upheld the verdict of the trial court and awarded N100,000 against the appellants in the favour of Tinubu and Atiku.

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