The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has struck out the suit filed by 5 residents of the FCT seeking to stop the 2023 presidential inauguration.
The 5 residents – Anyaegbunam Okoye, David Adzer, Jeffrey Ucheh Osang Paul and Chibuike Nwanchukwu — sued for themselves and on behalf of other residents and registered voters in the FCT had prayed to the court to halt the inauguration on grounds that President Bola Tinubu had not secured 25% of the votes cast in the FCT.
At the last adjourned date 28th May which was scheduled for rule on the case, Justice Inyang Ekwo was absent from court on an official duty.
The absence of the judge infuriated the counsel to the plaintiffs, who granted an interview, threatening to sue the judge up to the Supreme Court.
At today’s proceeding, the said lawyer was absent from court.
Delivering the ruling Justice Ekwo held that from the affidavit of the plaintiffs the lawyer Chucks Nwachukwu instigated the suit and merely got the plaintiffs to stand in as parties while he handles the suit as a lawyer.
This the court says is unprofessional conduct, reckless, frivolous and a lack of complete knowledge of the elementary principles of law.
The action was willfully initiated not just to circumvent but to overreach the ongoing proceedings of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.
The lawyer aimed to plunge the country into unprecedented constitutional anarchy capable of causing bloodshed and genocide.
The plaintiffs and their lawyers are out to be deprecated in the strongest term for this type of process.
The court found no merit in the application and accordingly struck out the suit.
The court however made the consequential order, directing the lawyer to pay the sum of N10 million each to the 1st and 2nd respondents that is the AGF and the CJN.
Justice Ekwo held that the lawyer was lucky to be absent from court otherwise he would have de-robed him immediately.
The court there referred him to the legal disciplinary committee to determine if he is fit to practice. The order shall be served on the Supreme Court, NBA and the AGF.
The court also held that until the fine is paid no further action can be taken on the suit.