In a new lawsuit attempting to block Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s inauguration as president on May 29, the Court of Appeal in Abuja has set the scene for a definitive hearing today, Friday.
The court mandated that the case CA/ABJ/CV/259/2023, which seeks to block Tinubu’s inauguration as Nigeria’s next president and prevent him from taking office on May 29, be heard conclusively by 3 p.m. today.
In order to clear the way for the lawsuit’s hearing, the Appellate Court heard a joinder motion from Tinubu on May 18. After hearing arguments from Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, the court quickly granted Tinubu’s request and added him as a fourth respondent alongside President Muhammadu Buhari and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The court then directed Buhari, AGF, INEC, and Tinubu as the first through fourth respondents to file their Respondents’ Briefs and serve the Appellants by 10 a.m. this morning. Tinubu was immediately added to the lawsuit on the grounds that he had interests that may be harmed.
The Appeal Court also mandated that the Appellants submit their Reply Brief by noon today and serve the Respondents, and it set the hearing time for the case for 3 pm today.
Chief Ambrose Albert Owuru, a constitutional lawyer running for president in the 2019 election, and his political party, the Hope Democratic Party (HDP), filed the lawsuit.
Owuru, a 1982 graduate of the Nigerian Bar, has petitioned the Court of Appeal in Abuja to stop President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from swearing in the 2023 President-elect on May 29.
The politician, who ran for office in 2019 under the banner of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP), wants Buhari, AGF, and INEC to be restrained from taking any further action regarding the 2023 presidential election, which Tinubu won.
In opposition to the inauguration of Tinubu or anybody else as Buhari’s successor, Owuru, who said that he had been declared the constitutional winner of the 2019 presidential election, complained that Buhari had not used up his four years in office as required by law.
Owuru asserted, among other things, that since the Supreme Court has not decided his suit from 2019, in which he contested the claimed announcement of Buhari as the election winner, that Buhari has been usurping his tenure of office.
On January 30, 2023, Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed his initial lawsuit, which prompted him to appeal to the Court of Appeal to express his resentment.