The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has adjourned hearing until Thursday, May 18, 2023, to decide on an application seeking an order to bar the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, from swearing in the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on May 29 and extend the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari
Five voters who are residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had asked the court to bar the CJN from swearing in Tinubu on May 29.
The suit was filed by Messrs Anyaegbunam Okoye, David Adzer, Jeffery Ucheh, Osang Paul and Chibuike Nwachukwu against the CJN and the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.
Describing themselves as registered voters of the FCT, Abuja, they had sought the following reliefs,
“A declaration that no state of the country is at the same time the FCT for any propose whatsoever, including, in particular, under section 134 (2) (b) of the Constitution.
“A declaration that no candidate in the February 25 presidential election in the country may validly be declared elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria without that candidate obtaining at least 25% of the votes cast in the FCT, Abuja.
“A declaration that no candidate in the February 25 presidential election may validly be sworn in as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, without such candidate having obtained 25% of the votes cast in FCT, Abuja.
“A declaration that following the February 25 presidential election and until a successor is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and sworn in, the term of office of His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCON, as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, subsist and endures in accordance with the provisions of section 135 (1) (a) of the Constitution.
“An order setting aside or suspending any declaration and/or issuance of a Certificate of a Return to any candidate in the February 25 presidential election in the country as having been elected, save and except it is judicially determined with finality that such candidate fulfilled the conditions stated in section 134(2) (b) of the Constitution.”
At the hearing before Justice Inyang Ekwo on Monday, the judge told the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Chuks Nwachukwu, that the case has been adjourned to May 18 to allow him get answers to certain questions.
Justice Ekwo held that on the next adjourned date, the lawyer must address the court on locus standi (right to appear in court), jurisdiction and whether his case is already before the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC).
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