An Abuja-based lawyer, Chuks Nwachukwu was, on Tuesday slammed with a N20 million fine by a Federal High Court, Abuja for filing a frivolous suit seeking to stop the May 29, 2023 inauguration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Nwachukwu who claimed to be representing five Federal Capital Territory residents in the suit, had sought for an order of the Court to stop the swearing-in of President Tinubu.
The trial Judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment struck out the suit on the grounds that the plaintiffs lacked the locus standi (Legal right) to file the suit.
The Judge said, “I make an order striking out this action on grounds of lack of locus standi of the plaintiffs, lack of jurisdiction of the court and failure of the plaintiffs to demonstrate to this court that similar subject is not pending before the Presidential Election Petition Court which proceedings are on-going”.
Justice Ekwo consequently ordered the lawyer to pay the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), listed as 1st and 2nd defendants in the case, the sum of N10 million each.
The Judge directed that until Nwachukwu pay-off the N20 million fine, no further action should be taken in the matter.
The Judge, who condemned Nwachukwu’s comments in the media, said in his interview, if the lawyer was in the courtroom, he would have been barred “from practising until he appears before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) to determine whether he is fit to practice the profession.
“But since he is not in court, I made an order, directing the Registrar to forward all the processes to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) to determine whether he is fit to practice the profession,” he declared.
He also directed that the order of the court be served on the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, the AGF and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
The five FCT residents; Anyaegbunam Okoye, David Adzer, Jeffrey Uche, Osang Paul and Chibuike Nwanchukwu, had filed the suit, through their lawyer, for an order of the court stopping the inauguration of Tinubu and his vice, Senator Kashim Shettima, slated for May 29.
The plaintiffs had sued for themselves and on behalf of other residents and registered voters in the FCT.
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