Justice Jamil Tukur of the Court of Appeal has ordered the presidential candidate of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) in the 2019 elections, Ambrose Owuru, to pay a fine of N40 million for filing a suit to stop the inauguration of president-elect, Bola Tinubu, on May 29.
Delivering judgment today May 25, Justice Tukur who read the lead judgment of a three-member panel of the court, held that Owuru committed a gross abuse of the court process by filing a frivolous, vexatious and irritating suit to provoke the respondents.
In the suit marked CA/CV/259/2023 and filed in April, Owuru challenged the outcome of the 2019 elections and asked the court to declare the president’s seat vacant and swear him in as the authentic winner.
He prayed the court to prohibit President Muhammadu Buhari, Abubakar Malami, the attorney-general of the federation and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), from going ahead with Tinubu’s inauguration.
He argued that he was the winner of the 2019 presidential election and had not spent his tenure. He maintained that President Buhari has been usurping his tenure of office since 2019 because the Supreme court has not determined his petition challenging the election’s outcome.
In its ruling, the court held that Owuru’s grievances against the 2019 presidential election were not only strange but uncalled for because they had been pursued up to the supreme court and were dismissed for want of merit.
The appeal court held that Owuru’s bid to resuscitate the case that died in 2019 was aimed at making the lower courts go on a collision course with the supremacy of the apex court.
The court then ordered him to pay N10 million each to President Buhari, the AGF, INEC and Tinubu — the first to fourth defendants in the suit.