The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has dismissed an appeal filed by a former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, seeking to disqualify the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar, respectively.
The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/ 942/ 2022 and opposed by Babatunde Ogala on behalf of the APC and Bola Tinubu had as defendants the APC and Tinubu.
Nwajiuba and a non-governmental organisation, Rights for All International, had prayed the Federal High Court in Abuja to cancel the processes that produced Tinubu and Abubakar as candidates of their parties.
Other parties sued were the PDP, Atiku, Attorney General of the Federation and the Independent National Electoral Commission.
A declaration that all the votes cast in favor of the 3rd and 4th defendants at the special convention of the 1st and 2nd defendants held on the 6th and 7th of June, 2022 and on the 28th and 29th of May, 2022 respectively are illegal, null and void and of no effect whatsoever on the grounds of corruption, buying and selling of delegates votes and voter inducement”. The suit entails.
Among others, the plaintiffs prayed for “a declaration that having regard to the clear, unambiguous and express provisions, spirit and tenor of Section 33(1) And (5) (C) of the Constitution of the People’s Democratic Party 2017 as Amended , the Special National convention of the 2nd defendant held on May 28 and 29, 2022 was not properly constituted as regards the composition of delegates who should attend and vote at the said convention and did not confer the convention the powers to elect the 4th defendant as the presidential candidate of the 2nd defendant for the 2023 presidential election.
“An order returning the 2nd plaintiff as the duly elected and nominated presidential candidate of the 1st defendant being that by operation of Section 90(3), the 2nd plaintiff, Honourable Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba is the only candidate out of the 10 contestants who polled votes at the 1st defendants’ convention and whose source of the N100m is verified and complied with the electoral act as contained in the print out of the names in the bank statement of over 1,000 individual contributions in person.”
Justice Inyang Ekwo dismissed the suit on the grounds that the plaintiffs lack the legal rights to file the suit.
Meanwhile, Prof Nwajiuba appealed the judgment of the federal high court.
In the appellate judgment, the Appeal court also dismissed the suit and awarded N100,000 against the appellants in favor of Tinubu and Atiku.
Upholding the verdict of the lower court, the Appeal Court ruled that “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.”