Court dismisses suit challenging Tinubu’s age, citizenship, fines petitioners
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed a suit filed by three individuals seeking to stop the inauguration of President-elect, Bola Tinubu and his vice, Kashim Shettima over age falsification and citizenship status in the document Tinubu submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Justice James Omotosho, in a ruling on Friday, held that the suit by the trio of Praise Ilemona Isaiah, Pastor Paul Isaac Audu and Anongu Moses, who identified themselves as Concerned Citizens, was frivolous and an abuse of the court process.
In the suit marked, FHC/ABJ/C5/657/2023, the plaintiffs alleged that Tinubu, who was declared the winner of the presidential election held on February 25, lied on oath in the Form EC9 he submitted to INEC, in aid of his qualifications to contest the election.
They also told the court that Tinubu falsely declared that he was not a citizen of any other country despite that he was in possession of a Guinean passport.
The trio further alleged that whereas the President-elect claimed that he was born in 1957, it was discovered that 1952 was his actual date of birth, arguing that Tinubu’s action was in gross violation of Section 117 of the Criminal Code Act as well as Section 156 of the Penal Code Act.
To usurp Tinubu, they prayed to the court to ban Tinubu from vying for any elective position for the next 10 years.
Meanwhile, Justice Omotosho ruled 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.
He maintained that under section 285 (14) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, only an aspirant could challenge the qualification or nomination of a candidate in an election.
He further held that since the election has already been conducted, only the Court of Appeal has the jurisdiction to entertain cases arising from the presidential election.