President Bola Ahmed Tinubu finds himself entangled in a legal battle before the Supreme Court.
Chief Albert Ambrose Owuru, a presidential candidate in the 2019 general election, has taken the bold step of challenging Tinubu's inauguration as President, citing a pending legal action against the conduct of the 2023 presidential poll.
Owuru, a Constitutional lawyer, is invoking the doctrine of Lis Pendens to call for the nullification of Tinubu's inauguration as the declared winner of the 2023 presidential poll. He argues that the election, which resulted in Tinubu's victory, is null and void due to his ongoing legal proceedings against Tinubu and others at the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court suit, identified as No. SC/667/2023, lists Chief A.A. Owuru and the Hope Democratic Party as Appellants, with Respondents including former President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Owuru contends that Tinubu's declaration as President by INEC violates the principle of lis pendens, emphasizing that Tinubu, being a party in the pending suit before the Apex Court, should not have presented himself for inauguration in connection with any presidential poll.
The legal saga dates back to Owuru's participation in the 2019 presidential election on the platform of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP). Despite the declaration of victory by Buhari, Owuru claims to be the rightful winner and initiated legal proceedings seeking a court order to declare him the constitutional winner.
Tinubu voluntarily joined the ongoing Supreme Court case as an interested party on May 18 this year. In a recent development, Owuru, through Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN's Chambers, has filed a fresh motion on notice, urging the Supreme Court to issue an order restraining the respondents, especially Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, from operating the Federation Account until the constitutional questions regarding the 2023 election are resolved.
In a statement issued in Abuja, Owuru and the civil group, Hope Africa Foundation, asserted that Tinubu's claim to the presidency is affected by the doctrine of lis pendens, emphasizing that his purported inauguration is susceptible to dismissal. As the legal proceedings unfold, the nation watches closely to see how this unprecedented challenge to the inauguration unfolds.