A Nigerian medical practitioner based in the United States, Dr. Adah Obekpa, has initiated a legal move to stall the presidential inauguration scheduled for May 29, 2023.
Obekpa filed a motion with the Supreme Court, urging delay in the inauguration, until the resolution of his standing case.
His appeal, SC/934/2019, filed by his legal counsel, is predicated on his claim of unlawful exclusion from the 2011 general elections.
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The medical doctor asserts he was unjustly barred from participating as the potential presidential candidate of African Renaissance Party (ARP), a registered political party in Nigeria.
Arguing his case, with precedence in mind, Obekpa leans on the Amaechi vs Omehia case to bolster his point. He posits that the circumstances of his alleged unlawful exclusion deserve priority over any other considerations before the apex court.
“The determination of the circumstances surrounding my unlawful exclusion by the court should take pre-eminence over any other consideration in the eyes of the law,” Obekpa argued in his legal brief.
The defendants in the original suit are Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), National Assembly, and President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who, at the time, was Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
A statement by his legal counsel, Jonathan Akeme, Esq, released, yesterday, clarifies that the motion before the Supreme Court was filed on Monday, May 15, 2023, and there is an application to join President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation to the suit.
It’s unclear how the case would impact timeline for the presidential swearing-in. Yet, the legal action adds another layer of complexity to Nigeria’s political landscape.
If the Supreme Court deems it appropriate, the May 29 inauguration could be put on hold, sending shockwaves through the nation’s political system.
The government has yet to respond to the development officially. As the situation unfolds, domestic and international observers will be monitoring proceedings in what promises to be a noteworthy moment in Nigeria’s democratic journey.