President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, on Friday evening, ignored the hearing in a suit seeking to stop the swearing-in of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu on May 29.
Listed as respondents in the motion on notice are Buhari, the AGF, and the Independent National Electoral Commission as 1st to 3rd respectively before Tinubu joined as 4th respondent.
The suit which was marked CA/ABJ/CV/259/2023 is instituted by the presidential candidate in the 2019 presidential election, Ambrose Owuru and his party, Hope Democratic Party.
The plaintiff is praying the court prohibit the president, the AGF and INEC from inaugurating the president-elect on May 29.
He wants the respondents stopped from taking any further steps on the 2023 presidential election that produced Tinubu as the winner.
Owuru who claims to have been the valid winner of the 2019 presidential election based his suit against Tinubu’s inauguration or anybody else as successor to Buhari on the ground that he won the 2019 election and has not spent his year tenure as required by law.
He maintained that Buhari has been usurping his tenure of office since 2019 because the Supreme Court has not determined his petition filed in 2019 in which he challenged the declaration of Buhari as the election winner.
During Friday’s proceedings on the matter, Buhari and the AGF who are the first and second respondents ignored the suit and did not file any process in respect to it.
They also did not have any legal representation at the hearing at the Court of Appeal Abuja, despite being served with the hearing notice.
However, the electoral umpire, through its counsel, Hassan Halilu asked the Court of Appeal to dismiss the case describing Owuru’s claim as frivolous, baseless, irritating and unwarranted.
He faulted the claims of the plaintiff and urged the court to dismiss it with heavy cost on the ground that the suit lacked merit.
On his part, the President-elect, Bola Tinubu who joined the suit as an interested party argued that the claims of Owuru to the 2019 Presidential election were not only strange but baseless, frivolous and un-meritorious.
Tinubu through his counsel, Adelani Ajibade of Wole Olanipekun SAN’s chamber told the three-man panel of the Court of Appeal that the Supreme Court judgment nullified Owuru’s petition filed against the 2019 Presidential election.
The President-elect whose brief of argument was filed on May 19 demanded the total dismissal of the suit with 20 million naira cost to be paid to the respondents by Owuru and his party.
Meanwhile, Justice Jamil Tukur who headed the three-man panel of justice in the hearing of the matter has adjourned judgment indefinitely.
Justice Tukur said that parties in the appeal would be communicated as soon as the judgment is ready.