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Tuesday, 21 February 2023

Ex-presidential candidate drags Buhari to A’Court over 2019 presidential election

A former presidential candidate in the 2019 general election, Chief Ambrose Albert Owuru has dragged President Muhammadu Buhari before the Court of Appeal in Abuja seeking an order of the court to oust Buhari from office and declare him the winner of the 2019 poll.

Owuru, who contested the 2019 presidential election on the platform of Hope Democratic Party, HDP, against Buhari is also praying the Appellate Court issue an order stopping all preparations for the conduct of a fresh presidential poll until his suit against the president is fully determined.

In his notice of appeal filed against the judgment of a Federal High Court in Abuja which on January 30 threw away his case, the ex-presidential candidate accused the high court of a miscarriage of justice in the ways and manners his suit was adjudicated upon.

The notice of appeal claimed that Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja erred in law and wrongfully interpreted Section 132 of the 1999 Constitution in arriving at findings that led to the dismissal of his case for want of merit.

Owuru, a constitutional lawyer trained in the United Kingdom and called to the Nigerian Bar in 1982 is demanding in the notice of appeal that the judgment of the Federal High Court be voided and set aside by the Court of Appeal.

The appellant claimed that the High Court judge erred in law when he invoked Section 285 of the Constitution on limitations to hold that his case was statute barred having not been filed within a period stipulated by law.

The ex-presidential candidate also faulted the finding of Justice Ekwo which held that his case was an affront to the finality and supremacy of the Supreme Court’s decision on the matter delivered in 1999.

Owuru said that contrary to the findings of the High Court, his case was not fully decided by the Supreme Court due to discrepancies in the hearing date issued during the hearing of the case.

The fresh appeal predicated on five grounds asked the Court of Appeal to set aside the High Court judgment and enter judgment in his favour and against Buhari.

Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the hearing of the appeal.

In the High Court suit he instituted on June 16, 2021, Owuru had claimed that INEC had no constitutional power to have shifted the constitutionally fixed February 16, 2019 election, to February 23 adding that Buhari being a product of unlawful election of February 23 cannot lawfully govern the country.

The main ground of his case was that since his suit against Buhari at the Supreme Court in 2019 was inconclusive due to errors on the adjourned date, he should be declared the winner of the February 16 presidential election.

Owuru had in the suit applied for an order of the court to declare the presidential seat vacant and swear him in as the authentic winner of that election.

The suit was however dismissed by Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo on various grounds among which is that it was an affront to the finality of the Supreme Court which passed a judgment on the matter in 2019.

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