The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has slapped a fine of N40 million on the presidential candidate of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP), Ambrose Owuru, for filing a suit against the president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s inauguration.
The Abuja-based lawyer, Owuru, had filed a lawsuit with which he had sought to prevent the May 29 inauguration from taking place at the Eagles Square in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
In a judgment on Thursday, a three-member panel of the court was unanimous in holding that the appeal by Owuru and his party, the HDP amounted to an abuse of the court process.
In the lead judgment, Justice Jamil Tukur held that the appeal was an invitation for the court to review its earlier decision which it cannot do.
Justice Tukur further said that the issues in the appeal had earlier been determined by the court while sitting as an election petition court after the 2019 election with a judgment given on August 22, 2019.
He equally found that the Supreme Court had also heard the case and pronounced it with a judgment given on October 28, 2019.
Tukur held that the case, having been litigated up to the Supreme Court, was an abuse of the judicial process for Owuru and his party to seek to want to have the matter relitigated.
He upheld the January 30 judgment by Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja which earlier dismissed the case for being an abuse of court process.
Justice Tukur dismissed the appeal and ordered Owuru to pay each of the respondents N10 million in cost.
The respondents are President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and Tinubu.
The appeal by Owuru and HDP was against the January 30 judgment by Justice Ekwo, dismissing their suit in which Owuru had sought to be sworn in as Buhari’s successor.
Tinubu will be sworn-in next Monday at the Eagles Square in Abuja, taking over from Buhari as Nigeria’s next president.
The flagbearer of the All Progressive Congress (APC) won the 2023 presidential election after defeating the likes of Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP) candidate, Peter Obi.