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Supreme Court Rules On Former Minister, Nwajiuba’s Suit Seeking Disqualification Of Tinubu, Atiku

March 30, 2023

The apex court threw out the suit because it was statute-barred, having no legs to stand upon. 


The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed an appeal filed by a former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, seeking the disqualification of the presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, and the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar.

The apex court threw out the suit because it was statute-barred, having no legs to stand upon. 

Justice Inyang Okoro who presided over a five-member panel of Justices of the Court dismissed the appeal after the former minister withdrew his case when informed that the case was filed outside the time prescribed by law.

Nwajiuba and a civil group, the Rights for All International, a non-governmental organisation, had asked the Supreme Court to cancel the processes that produced Tinubu and Abubakar as candidates of their political parties.

He had lost at the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal both in Abuja on the same ground that his case lacked merit that could make the court look into it.

SaharaReporters had on December 24 reported that a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja dismissed Nwajiuba’s suit.
In the suit numbered FHC/ABJ/CS/1114/2022 which had Tinubu, the APC, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as co-defendants, Nwajiuba had urged INEC to disqualify the former Lagos State Governor and recognise him as the APC candidate.

Nwajiuba had also sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining INEC from accepting the candidacy of Tinubu whom he said was nominated in breach of the law.

However, Justice Zainab Abubakar, in her judgement held that her court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit which was statute barred, having been filed outside the 14 days allowed under Section 285(9) of the Constitution.
Justice Abubakar in the judgment noted that as a pre-election case, it ought to be filed within 14 days of the occurrence of the action complained about by the plaintiff.