Home World News Nigeria News Plaintiffs in Case Seeking Extension of Buhari’s Tenure Abandon Suit

Plaintiffs in Case Seeking Extension of Buhari’s Tenure Abandon Suit


In a surprise move, 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 Disadvantaged and Oppressed Persons and Lawman Nzenwa, 1st and 2nd plaintiffs in the matter.

Justice Ekwo was disappointed that neither the plaintiffs nor their lawyer were in court for the hearing. He said: “It seems the plaintiffs and their lawyer have run away; they have abandoned their case.” He added that what the plaintiffs are seeking is unconstitutional and can never be granted.

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The plaintiffs had filed the suit on May 12, through their lawyer. They had sued the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, the Attorney-General of Federation, AGF, the Chief of Defence Staff, and the Inspector-General of Police as the 1st to 4th defendants. They also sued others including 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.

In their originating summons, they had sought an order extending Buhari’s tenure further from May 29 to such a time the presidential election petition would have been resolved in one way or the other. They also wanted an order mandating the Senate president and Speaker 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. Additionally, they sought an order directing the former president not to hand over the 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.

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It remains unclear why the plaintiffs chose to abandon the case, but many have speculated that they realized the futility of their demand or received some sort of behind-the-scenes settlement. The case had been generating attention in the media, and many had found it laughable. The news media had described the plaintiffs’ demands as frivolous, embarrassing and a complete waste of judiciary time.

While this case got dismissed, it raises the importance of more substantial lawsuits that seek to advance the common good and hold elected officials accountable. A more robust judiciary system is vital to the growth and development of any country. In Nigeria, in particular, the struggle for judicial independence has been a long-standing issue. So, it is heartening to see that a judge like Justice Ekwo is standing up for the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary.

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In conclusion, it’s not entirely clear what led the plaintiffs to abandon their case seeking to extend Buhari’s tenure. However, the case’s dismissal shows that the petitioners likely realized the unconstitutionality of their request. As Nigeria continues to navigate its political landscape, it is essential to emphasize the need for more substantial cases that promote the public interest and ensure accountability.



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