From Godwin Tsa, Abuja.
The Abuja division of the Court of Appeal has slammed a fine of N40 million on a former presidential candidate, Chief Ambrose Owuru, for filing frivolous suit seeking to stop the inauguration of the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu on May 29.
The intermediary court ordered the senior lawyer and politician to pay the fine of N10 million each to President Muhammadu Buhari, Attorney General of the Federation AGF, Independent National Electoral Commission INEC and Tinubu whom he made 1st to fourth defendants in the suit..
A three-member panel of the court led by Justice Jamil Tukur who read the lead judgment on Thursday, held that Owuru embarked on gross abuse of court process by filing frivolous, vexatious and irritating suit to provoke the respondents.
The Court held that the action of the appellant against the 2019 presidential election was not only strange but uncalled as the matter has already been decided by the Supreme Court where it was dismissed for want of merit.
Justice Tukur said that the action of Owuru to resuscitate the case that died since 2019 at the Supreme Court was aimed at making the lower courts to go on collision course with supremacy of the Apex Court.
In a judgment, a three-member panel of the court was unanimous in holding that the appeal by Owuru and his party, the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) amounted to an abuse of the court process.
Owuru and the HDP raised similar issues in the petition they filed against the 2019 presidential election, which petition was dismissed by the Supreme Court for want of jurisdiction.
The election petition court, while dismissing Owuru’s petition in its August 22, 2029 judgment, held among others that issue of referendum raised in the petition did not form a ground to challenge the outcome of an election.