A fresh motion on notice seeking to stop the inauguration of Bola Tinubu as Nigeria’s next President on May 29 has been instituted at the Court of Appeal in Abuja.
The suit marked CA/CV/259/2023 was instituted by Ambrose Owuru, who is a past presidential candidate and constitutional lawyer who ran for the presidency under the platform of the Hope Democratic Party in 2019.
Listed as respondents in the motion on notice are the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, and the Independent National Electoral Commission as 1st to 3rd respondents respectively.
Owuru in the suit is praying the Court of Appeal to prohibit President Buhari, the AGF and INEC from inaugurating the 2023 President-elect on May 29, claiming that he was the valid winner of the 2019 election and had not spent his tenure as required by law.
Consequently, he is seeking to stop any other move towards the inauguration of Tinubu or anybody else as successor to Buhari.
Among other things, Owuru maintained that Buhari had been usurping his tenure of office since 2019 because the Supreme Court had not determined his petition filed in 2019 wherein he challenged Buhari’s victory.
In his motion on notice marked CA/CV/259/2023 Owuru applied for “An order of prohibitory injunction compelling Buhari, AGF and INEC, their servants, agents and privies to preserve and give due cognizance and abstain from any further undertaking or engaging in any act of usurpation of adjudged acquired Constitutional rights and mandate as the winner of the 2019 presidential election.”
He also applied for another order placing on notice that any form of inauguration, organised by Buhari on May 29, 2023 remains and is viewed as an “interim placeholder” administration arranged pending the hearing and determination of his substantive appeal on the constitutional interpretation thereof.
The motion is supported with an eight-paragraph affidavit praying the Court of Appeal for an expeditious hearing before the inauguration of Tinubu.
The affidavit deposed to by an Abuja-based legal practitioner, Adebayo Anafowode, and filed at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, expressed apprehension that Owuru’s suit against Buhari would be rendered nugatory unless given a quick hearing.
It read in part, “That the applicant (Owuru) is the adjudged 1st in time constitutional winner of the February 16, 2019, presidential election reserves the right of first refusal over any later presidential election returns in the face of usurpation of adjudged acquired constitutional rights.”
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit yet.