Ambrose Owuru, a former presidential candidate, was fined N40 million by the Court of Appeal in Abuja for launching a bogus lawsuit to prevent Bola Tinubu’s inauguration as president on May 29.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Tinubu, Attorney General Abubakar Malami, and Owuru were each ordered by the court to receive N10 million from Owuru.
By initiating a bogus lawsuit in an effort to embarrass the respondents, Owuru engaged in a blatant abuse of the legal system, according to Justice Jamil Tukur, who delivered the lead judgment of the court’s three-person panel.
The Owuru grievances against the 2019 presidential election were deemed unusual and uncalled for by the Court of Appeal because they had already been taken all the way to the Supreme Court and were dismissed for lack of merit.
According to Justice Tukur, Owuru’s attempt to revive a case that had been dead at the Supreme Court since 2019 was done so in order to put lower courts in conflict with the Apex Court’s authority.
Owuru, a candidate for president in the 2019 presidential election on behalf of the now-defunct Hope Democratic Party (HDP), had asked the Court of Appeal Abuja to stop Buhari, Malami, and INEC from swearing in the new president on May 29.
Owuru complained that Buhari, who was declared the winner of the 2019 election by the constitution, had not used his term as mandated by law and that he should not have been replaced by Tinubu or anybody else.
Owuru stated that Buhari has been abusing his position since 2019, among other reasons being that the Supreme Court has yet to rule on his suit from that year in which he contested the alleged announcement of Buhari as the election winner.
In addition, he requested a second order specifying that any handover inauguration Buhari planned or presided over on May 29, 2023, other than the one for the person declared the winner of the 2019 presidential election, should be treated as a “interim place holder” administration until the hearing and decision on his substantive appeal regarding the constitutional interpretation of that election.