In a series of landmark rulings, the Supreme Court of Nigeria has dismissed multiple suits filed against the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, thereby affirming his eligibility for the presidency. The court rulings have put to rest the controversies surrounding Tinubu’s candidacy and his impending inauguration.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had filed a suit seeking to disqualify Tinubu as a presidential candidate and halt his scheduled swearing-in as president on May 29. The party alleged inappropriate nomination of his running mate, Kashim Shettima. However, the Supreme Court dismissed the suit, ruling in favor of Tinubu.
In a related development, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja fined a former presidential candidate, Ambrose Owuru, N40m for filing a frivolous suit seeking to stop Tinubu’s inauguration. The court ordered Owuru to pay the sum of N10m each to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Tinubu.
Justice Jamil Tukur, who read the lead judgment of the three-man panel of the court, held that Owuru embarked on a gross abuse of court process by filing a frivolous suit to provoke the respondents. The court held that the grievances of Owuru against the 2019 presidential election were not only strange but uncalled for because the grievances had been pursued up to Supreme Court and were dismissed for want of merit.
In another ruling, the court dismissed a suit against Tinubu over his age and citizenship. The court imposed a fine of N17m on the litigants and their lawyer for seeking to stop Tinubu’s inauguration.
Meanwhile, a support group of Bola Tinubu, Nigeria’s president-elect, arrived at the Supreme Court in Abuja ahead of Friday’s judgement. The group, comprising young people, gathered at the Bullet Junction near the Supreme Court. A Niger Delta ex-militant, Asari Dokubo, was seen among the group. The demonstrators carried placards declaring their support for Mr Tinubu.
These rulings have cleared the path for Tinubu’s inauguration as the President of Nigeria on May 29, marking a significant victory for the president-elect and his supporters.