Again, Court imposes N17m fine on litigants, lawyer seeking to stop Tinubu’s inauguration
A Federal High Court in Abuja has imposed a fine of N17 million on three litigants and their lawyer for filing a frivolous suit seeking to stop the inauguration of the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Justice James Omotoso imposed the fine on Praise Ilemona, Pastor Paul Issac Audu and Dr Anongu Moses who jointly instituted the suit praying for an order to halt the Monday, May 29, swearing-in of Tinubu as new President.
The three litigants are to jointly pay the President elect a sum of N10 million and another N5 million to the All Progressives Congress, APC, who were part of the seven defendants in the suit.
Justice Omotoso also ordered that an interest of 10 percentage be placed on the judgment debt per year until when finally liquidated.
Their lawyer who filed the suit, described as vexatious by the court, was ordered to pay N1 million to each of Tinubu and the APC.
The Federal High Court decision came barely 24 hours after the Court of Appeal in Abuja slammed N40 million fine on a former Presidential candidate in the 2019 election, Chief Ambrose Albert Owuru who also sought to stop Tinubu’s inauguration on the ground that he won the 2019 presidential election and should be inaugurated instead of Tinubu.
The three plaintiffs had in their dismissed suit sought to stop the May 29 inauguration on the alleged ground that the President-elect, Bola Tinubu supplied false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) about his age and citizenship status.
Justice Omotosho, in a ruling on Friday, held that the suit by Praise Ilemona Isaiah, Pastor Paul Isaac Audu and Anongu Moses was frivolous and abuse of court process.
The Judge held that the plaintiffs lacked the locus standi to file the suit, adding that the court could not exercise jurisdiction to hear it because it relates to a presidential election.
The ruling by Justice Omotosho is coming about 40 minutes after the Supreme Court dismissed another suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking to void the candidacy of Tinubu and the Vice-president elect, Kashim Shettima.