Even though the petitions before a Presidential Election Petition are still being decided, the plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking an extension of the term of former President Muhammadu Buhari have dropped the case.
In a decision on the lawsuit brought by Justice Initiative for the Disadvantage and Oppressed Persons and Lawman Nzenwa, the first and second plaintiffs in the case, with the file number FHC/ABJ/CS/656/23, Justice Inyang Ekwo made this declaration.
Justice Ekwo announced that he had issued an order instructing the plaintiffs to be provided with hearing notice for today’s proceeding after noting that the petitioners were not present in court on the prior adjourned date.
The judge claimed he also mandated that a text message and a phone call be used to inform the plaintiffs of the proceedings.
But he was surprised that neither the plaintiffs nor their attorney were there.
According to Justice Ekwo, I think the plaintiffs and their attorney have realized that their request is illegal and cannot be granted.
He stated, “It appears the Plaintiffs and their attorney have fled; they have abandoned their case.”
The judge concluded that the lawsuit should be dismissed because the plaintiffs were not present and he was unable to issue an order in their absence.
The plaintiffs reportedly filed the lawsuit on May 12 through their attorney, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
They had sued the Chief of Defence Staff, the Attorney-General of the Federation, the Inspector-General of Police, and the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces as the first through fourth defendants in the original summons.
As the fifth through eleventh defendants, respectively, are Senator Bola Tinubu, Senator Kassim Shettima, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mr. Peter Obi, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the President of the Senate, and Speaker of the House of Representatives.
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 requested an order directing the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Senate President to apply the rule of necessity and enact a resolution extending Buhari’s term after May 29 until the outcome of Abubakar’s appeal challenging the validity of the presidential election.
Additionally, they requested a court order prohibiting the former president from appointing Tinubu and Shettima to the posts of president and vice president until the court has finally and completely decided all election petitions.
According to NAN, the only person representing the 10th defendant—the Senate president—in court was Kassim Oyinwola.