Home News Court Urged to Bar CJN, Others from Swearing in Tinubu, Shettima

Court Urged to Bar CJN, Others from Swearing in Tinubu, Shettima

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The Federal High Court in Abuja has been asked to restrain the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) or any other judicial officer from swearing in the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his Deputy, Senator Kashim Shettima, or any other candidate in the February 25 presidential election.

The restraining order being requested for by some aggrieved Nigerian voters in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is pending the final determination in “accordance with the provisions of the constitution that such candidate has fulfilled the requirements of Section 134(2)(b) of the Constitution”.

The plaintiffs, Anyaegbunam Okoye, David Adzer, Jeffrey Ucheh, Osang Paul and Chibuike Nwachukwu, who had “sued for themselves and as representing other residents and registered voters of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, excepting those who exempting themselves”, predicated their case on the grounds that no candidate can be sworn in as president of Nigeria without obtaining 25% of votes in the FCT in a presidential election in the country.

The Originating Summons dated April 28 and marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/578/2023, raised several questions for determination, amongst which are, “Whether the court may restrain the swearing-in of any person on May 29th

2023 or at on any other date until the issues raised in the summons have been determined with finality”.

The plaintiffs through their lawyer, Mr Chuks Nwachukwu, are claiming that they have a constitutional

right to be heard on the question of whether or not the person who is to be elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and consequently administrator of the Territory through the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and the Federal Capital Territory Development Authority, on the first ballot is required by Section 134(2)(b) of the Constitution to obtain at least 25% of the votes cast in the FCT.

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They contended that the plaintiffs and other residents and registered voters in the FCT would be discriminated against if any state within the Federal Republic of Nigeria were substituted for the Federal Capital Territory Abuja for the purpose of the application of Section 134(2)(b) of the Constitution in any guise.

Amongst the reliefs they are seeking from the court include a “Declaration that the plaintiffs and other residents and registered voters of the Federal Capitol Territory Abuja have legal interest in, and therefore a constitutional right to be heard on, the question whether or not the person who is to be elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and consequently Administrator of the Territory through the Minister of the Federal Capitol Territory and the Federal Capital Territory Development Authority, on the first ballot is required by section 134(2)(b) of the Constitution to obtain at least 25% of the votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory.

“A declaration that no state of the country is at the some time the Federal Capital Territory for any purpose whatsoever, including in particular, under section 134(2)/b) of the Constitution.

“A declaration that no candidate in the February 25th presidential election in the country may validly be declared elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria without that candidate obtaining 25% of the votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

“A declaration that following the February 25th presidential election and until a successor is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, and sworn in, the tenure of office of His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria subsists and endures in accordance with the provisions of Section 135(1Xa) of the Constitution.”

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They are therefore asking the court for, “An order setting aside or suspending any declaration and/or Issuance of a certificate of return to any candidate in the February 25th presidential election in the country as having been elected save and except it is judicially determined with finality that such candidate fulfilled the conditions stated at Section 134(2)/b) of the Constitution.

“An order restraining the Chief Justice of Nigeria, any other judicial officer and/or ony other authority or person from swearing in any candidate in the February 25th presidential election as President or Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, until is judicially determined with finality in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution that such candidate has fulfilled the requirements of Section 134(2)(b) of the Constitution.”

The matter has been fixed for Monday May 15, for mention.

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