Tinubu floors ex-Buhari’s minister at Appeal Court

The Appeal Court in Abuja has dismissed another appeal filed by former Minster of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba against the APC’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

The Appeal Court on Friday dismissed the suit for lack of merit, saying the Appellant is a busy body and a meddlesome interloper.

The court upheld the judgement of the Federal High Court in Abuja, which had also on 15 December, 2022 dismissed the suit filed by Nwajiuba for lack of merit.

The Federal High Court had in delivering judgement then in the suit filed by the former minister and Incorporated Trustees of Rights for all International, against APC and Tinubu in the suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/ 942/ 2022, with Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, Attorney General of the Federation and INEC, as other parties sued, dismissed the whole suit fort lacking in merit.

 

Also, the judge, Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo, on the issue of abuse of court process raised by Babatunde Ogala SAN, counsel to APC and Tinubu, averted its mind to Section 823(1) and 825 (1) (b) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 to hold that the 1st Plaintiff (Incorporated Trustees of Rights for all International) had deviated from its objectives as a Non-Governmental Organization to seeking politically motivated litigations and thus made a consequential order dissolving the 1st Plaintiff effective immediately.

The court ordered the Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission to take over the activities of the 1st Plaintiff.

Nwajiuba, who resigned from President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to contest for the APC presidential primary, had sought, among others a declaration of the court to nullify the votes scored by Tinubu in the last APC’s presidential primary election on alleged account of vote buying, but the court said since he was not present during the primary to prove his case, it amounted to just hearsay.

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However, when the matter came up at the Appeal Court, the judge, in delivering judgment on 17 February, 2023 upheld the Preliminary objections filed by the office of Babatunde Ogala SAN & Co that the Suit at the Lower court was not a Pre-Election matter as the Appellant could not be said to be a person covered by Section 285(14) a, b. c of the 1999 Constitution being an NGO.

The three-man panel of justices held that the removal of the 2nd Defendant’s name (EMEKA NWAJIUBA) 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 that the Appeal was lacking in merit and that the Appellant only sought to revive the dissolved NGO through the back door, and that the counsel to the Appellant who is also a trustee of the NGO should live with same in sober reflections.

The court added that the Appellant was not clothed with locus as could be gleaned from Section 285(14) a, b and c of the 1999 Constitution and that “The Appellant is a busy body and a meddlesome interloper.”

The Appeal Court awarded a cost of N100,000.00 against the Appellant and in favour of the 1st – 4th Respondents each and then dismissed the appeal.

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