President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, have refused to file any processes and were not represented in court by any lawyer for the hearing appeal filed by an Abuja-based lawyer, Ambrose Owuru seeking to among others, stop the May 29 handover.
The appeal, marked: CA/ABJ/CS/259/2023 was heard on Friday.
A presidential candidate of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) in the 2019 election, Chief Ambrose Owuru, had asked the Abuja division of the Court of Appeal to stop the May 29 inauguration of the President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In the suit marked CA/CV/259/2023, Uwuru, also a legal practitioner, is praying the intermediate court to prohibit President Muhammadu Buhari, Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from inaugurating the 2023 President-elect on May 29.
The plaintiff wants Buhari, AGF and INEC stopped from taking any further steps on the 2023 presidential election that produced Tinubu as winner.
While arguing the appeal on Friday, Owuru, who appeared for himself, said the substance of his case was never determined up to the Supreme Court, urging the court to dispassionately consider his case, preserve his right to be accorded the first right of refusal to the office of the president, and allow the appeal by setting aside the judgment of the Federal High Court.
Lawyer to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Hassan Aliyu, described the appeal as a waste of the court’s precious time, adding that the appeal was without merit.
Aliyu prayed the court to dismiss it.
Lawyer to Tinubu, Adelani Ajibade, from Chief Wole Olanipekun’s law firm, urged the court to dismiss the appeal and award N20 million cost against the appellants.
Ajibade argued that Owuru and his party do not have any subsisting right over any electoral victory which they sought to exercise through the appeal.
He added: “The appellants have no right to be preserved. The purported right they claim to possess has been extinguished by the Supreme Court in a decision as far back as 2019 in appeal number: SC/1110/2019.”
Ajibade tendered a certified true copy (CTC) of the judgment delivered by the Supreme Court on October 3, 2019 in which the apex court upheld the judgment of the Court of Appeal, delivered in respect of the petition Owuru and his party filed against the 2019 presidential election.
A three-member panel of the Court of Appeal, led by Justice Jamil Tukur, after hearing the lawyers, announced that the judgment had been reserved, to be delivered on a date to be communicated to parties.