A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed the suit by residents of the Federal Capital Territory seeking to stop the inauguration of Bola Tinubu as President over the lack of 25 per cent votes in the FCT.
Justice Inyang Ekwo on Tuesday also awarded the sum of N20 million in cost against the FCT residents’ lawyer, Chuks Nwachukwu, for engaging in professional misconduct in instituting a frivolous suit.
The court, which failed to deliver the ruling on May 26 after the filing of responses by the FCT residents, held that they lacked the locus standi to bring the action.
The residents/voters are represented by Anyaegbunam Ubaka Okoye, David Aondover Adzer, Jeffrey Oheobeh Ucheh, Osang Paul and Chibuke Nwachukwu brought the ex parte motion against the Attorney General of the Federation and the Chief Justice of Nigeria over the matter.
The court had sought responses from the residents/voters bordering on three questions of whether they had the locus standi to bring the suit and the jurisdiction, and whether there is a similar matter before the presidential elections court.
But in his ruling on Tuesday, Justice Ekwo said the residents and voters failed to demonstrate to the court that similar subject is not pending before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal which proceedings are ongoing.
Justice Ekwo consequently ordered the lawyer to pay the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), listed as 1st and 2nd defendants in the case, the sum of N10 million each.
He directed that until Nwachukwu paid off the N20 million fine, no further action should be taken in the matter.
The judge, who condemned Nwachukwu’s comments in the media, said with his interview, if the lawyer was in the courtroom, he would have been barred “from practising until he appears before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) to determine whether he is fit to practise the profession.
“But since he is not in court, I make an order, directing the registrar to forward all the processes to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) to determine whether he is fit to practise the profession.”