The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Friday dismissed the appeal of former Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajuba against the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart, Atiku Abubakar.
Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court had on December 15, 2022 dismissed a suit filed by Nwajuba and Incorporated Trustees of Rights for all International against the All-Progressives Congress & Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/ 942/ 2022.
He had sought for an order cancelling, setting aside and nullifying the votes scored by Atiku and Tinubu at their party’s special national convention on the grounds of illegality, voter inducement and corruption.
He had also asked the court to return him as the duly elected/nominated presidential candidate of the APC as the only candidate out of the 10 contestants who polled votes at the APC convention and whose source of the N100million is verified and complied with the Electoral Act as contained in the print out of the names in the bank statement of over 1000 individual contributions in person.
The high court however threw out his case.
Aggrieved by the decision, Nwajuba appealed the judgement of the lower court which dissolved the NGO having become unlawful by engaging in activities outside the tenets of its incorporation.
The appeal was commenced by a notice of appeal dated the 28th of December, 2022. Records were transmitted and the appellant’s brief of argument was filed. .
The reliefs sought by the Appellant were;
a. An ORDER allowing the Appeal on the grounds that the lower court delivered its judgement outside the 180 days required by the 1999 Constitution as amended and as such a nullity
Ghani AROBO Esq with Gbenga BENSON Esq counsel in the law office of Babatunde Ogala SAN & Co filed preliminary objections and Respondent Briefs against the Appeal and the Appeal was heard by a 3 man Panel of the Court of Appeal on the 15th day of February, 2023 and judgment was reserved.
In a considered judgment, delivered on the 17th day of February, 2023 the court of Appeal, upheld the Preliminary objections filed by the office of Babatunde Ogala SAN & Co as follows;
a. 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.
b. That the removal of the 2nd Defendant’s name (EMEKA NWAJUBA) at the lower court meant the Judgment of the lower Court was not appealed and the court struck out the Notice of Appeal as incompetent.
On the Merits of the case, the Court of Appeal held thus;
a. The Appeal was lacking in merit and the Appellant only sought to revive the dissolved NGO through the back door, the counsel to Appellant who is also a trustee of the NGO should live with same in sober reflections.
b. The Appellant is not clothed with locus as can be gleaned from Section 285(14) a, b and c of the 1999 Constitution.
c. The Appellant is a busy body and a meddlesome interloper.
d. Cost of 100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) is awarded against the Appellant and in favor of the 1st – 4th Respondents each.
e. Appeal is dismissed.
f. Judgment of the lower court delivered on the 15th Day of December, 2022 is affirmed.