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Court Slams N1M Fine On Sacked Action Alliance Chairman For Suing Tinubu, Shettima

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A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday gave a consequential order of an N1 million fine against Udeze and his lawyer, Kalu Kalu Agu for wasting judicial time.

The presiding judge, Justice Binta Nyako held that the plaintiff lacked the locus standi to institute the case, therefore condemning Udeze’s lawyer, Agu, for failing to properly guide his client.

According to her, the suit filed by Agu on behalf of the sacked Action Alliance chairman with originating summons marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1256/22, was instituted by a ‘busybody’ just to waste judicial time.

Udeze had through his lawyer, Agu dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), APC, Tinubu and Shettima to court as 1st to 4th defendants respectively.

It was learnt that Udeze, who filed the suit in the name of Action Alliance as a plaintiff in the matter was condemned for instituting a suit in the name of the party.

The former AA chairman in the suit sought a declaration that the nomination of Shettima by Tinubu as his vice presidential candidate is void arising from the express provision of Section 35 of the Electoral Act, 2022 in that Shettima allowed himself to be nominated in more than one constituency for the 2023 elections.

Udeze, also argued that Shettima’s nomination as the senatorial candidate for the Borno Central District, and his subsequent nomination as the vice presidential candidate of the APC contravened the law.

He had as well sought an order of perpetual injunction, restraining Tinubu and Shettima from holding out themselves as presidential and vice presidential candidates for the Feb. 25 election.

The AA former chairman also sought an order of perpetual injunction, restraining INEC from listing Tinubu and Shettima’s names as presidential and vice presidential candidates in the final list of candidates at the forthcoming polls, adding that another restraining order should be given to the commission not to place the APC on the ballot for the said poll.

But the defendants urged the court to dismiss the suit for being statute barred, having failed to file within 14 days of the nomination.

They argued that the suit was non-justiciable as the plaintiff lacked the locus to challenge the nomination of the candidates, which bordered on the internal affairs of the party.

The Omo-Aje leadership of the party, in their preliminary objection, also urged the court to dismiss the suit on the ground that the action was purported to have been commenced by Action Alliance.

They argued that by the constitution of the party, only the national legal adviser on the instructions of the national chairman of the party could institute an action for the party.

The Omo-Aje leadership of the AA argued that neither the national chairman nor the national legal adviser instructed that the instant suit be instituted, hence the suit was incompetent, praying the court to dismiss it.

Justice Nyako in her ruling explained that the suit did not come from the authentic executives of the Action Alliance as argued by the Omo-Aje leadership of the party and therefore dismissed the suit for lack of locus standi.

She described the Udeze-led Action Alliance, as “A busybody who goes to different courts filing cases to waste the time of the court,” noting that they lacked the legal right to institute the matter.

The presiding judge on that premise fined Udeze and his lawyer, Agu for wasting the court’s time, as she directed that the money should be paid into the Treasury Single Account of the Federal Government.

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