President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been dragged before the Supreme Court for allegedly unlawfully presenting himself for inauguration as president despite a pending legal action against the conduct of the 2023 presidential election.
Citing the doctrine of Lis Pendens, a presidential candidate of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) in the 2019 general election, Chief Albert Owuru wants the Apex Court to nullify the inauguration of Tinubu as the winner of the 2023 presidential election.
Owuru, a constitutional lawyer, is contending that the presidential election that produced Tinubu was an exercise in futility and illegal self-help, given his yet-to-be-determined suit against Tinubu and others at the Supreme Court.
The pending Supreme Court suit numbered SC/667/2023 has Chief Owuru and his party, HDP, as Appellants, while Respondents are former President Muhammadu Buhari, AGF, INEC, and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Owuru is arguing that Tinubu’s declaration as President by INEC is an affront to the Supreme Court and the established law because of lis pendens, adding that since Tinubu is a party in the pending suit before the Apex Court, he ought not to have presented himself for inauguration in respect of any presidential election.
Owuru contested the 2019 presidential election under the platform of the HDP, competing against former President Muhammadu Buhari. He claimed to have been adjudged the winner of the election, disputing INEC’s declaration of Buhari as the victor.
His lawsuit, seeking an order from the court to declare him the adjudged and constitutional winner of the 2019 election, is currently pending before the Supreme Court. This suit was filed on May 18 of this year, and Tinubu voluntarily joined as an interested party.
In a motion on notice served on Tinubu through the Chambers of Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), the ex-presidential candidate is also praying to the Supreme Court for an order restraining the respondents, particularly Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, from further operating the Federation Account pending the determination and resolution of the constitutional questions against the 2023 presidential election.
Owuru predicated his grouse against the inauguration of Tinubu or anybody else as successor to Buhari on the ground that he is the constitutionally adjudged winner of the said election and has not spent his four-year tenure as required by law.
Among others, Owuru had insisted then that Buhari was usurping his tenure of office since 2019 because the Supreme Court has not determined his petition filed in 2019 in which he challenged the purported declaration of Buhari as the winner of the election.
His first suit was dismissed by Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja on January 30, 2023, prompting his movement to the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal in Abuja, in its part on May 25, in a judgement delivered by Justice Jamil Tukur, who led a three-member panel, had refused to stop the May 29 inauguration of Tinubu.
Justice Tukur had held that Owuru engaged in gross abuse of the court process by filing a frivolous, vexatious, and irritating suit to provoke the respondents.