The plaintiffs in a suit seeking an extension of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure have abandoned the case despite the pending determination of the petitions before a Presidential Election Petition
Justice Inyang Ekwo made this known on Friday in a ruling on the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/656/23 filed by Justice Initiative for the Disadvantage and Oppressed Persons and Lawman Nzenwa, 1st and 2nd plaintiffs in the matter.
Justice Ekwo, who observed that the applicants were not in court on the last adjourned date, said he had made an order directing the plaintiffs to be served with hearing notice for today’s proceeding.
The judge said he also made an order that the plaintiffs be called on the phone and a text message sent to them to notify them of the proceeding.
He, however, expressed surprise that neither the plaintiffs nor their lawyer were in court.
Justice Ekwo said I believe the plaintiffs and their counsel have realised that what they seek is unconstitutional and can never be granted.
“It seems the plaintiffs and their lawyer have run away; they have abandoned their case,” he declared.
The judge, therefore, held that since the plaintiffs were not in court and he cannot make an order in their absence, he consequently dismissed the suit.
There are reports that the plaintiffs, through their lawyer, had, on May 12, filed the suit dated May 12.
In the originating summons, they had sued the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, the Attorney-General of Federation, AGF, Chief of Defence Staff and Inspector-General of Police as 1st to 4th defendants.
Others are Sen. Bola Tinubu, Sen. Kassim Shettima, Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Mr Peter Obi, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Senate President and Speaker, House of Representatives as 5th to 11th defendants respectively.
They sought an order extending the tenure of Buhari (1st defendant) further from May 29 to such a time the presidential election petition would have been resolved in one way or the order.
The plaintiffs also sought an order mandating the Senate president (10th defendant) and Speaker (11th defendant) to invoke the principle of necessity and pass a resolution extending Buhari’s tenure after May 29 till when Abubakar’s petition against the presidential election is resolved.
They further sought an order directing the former president either by himself, appointees or agents, not to hand over offices of the president and vice president to Tinubu and Shettima until the election petitions are fully and finally disposed of by the courts, among others.
There are reports that only Kassim Oyinwola, counsel for the 10th defendant (Senate president) was in court.