Justice James Omotoso of a Federal High Court in Abuja has imposed a fine of N17m on three litigants and their lawyer for filing a suit seeking to stop the inauguration of president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The court imposed the fines on Praise Ilemona, Pastor Paul Issac Audu and Dr Anongu Moses who jointly instituted the suit praying for an order to halt the May 29 swearing-in of Tinubu as new president.
The three litigants are to jointly pay the president elect N10m and another N5m to the All Progressives Congress (APC) which was part of the seven defendants in the suit.
Justice Omotoso also ordered that an interest of 10 percent be placed on the judgment debt per year until when finally liquidated.
Their lawyer, Daniel Elomah who filed the suit declared as vexatious by the court was ordered to pay N1m each Tinubu and the APC.
At yesterday’s proceedings, their counsel had pleaded profusely to pardon his clients and advised that the court counsel them against embarking on frivolous suits in future.
Legal luminary, Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN who is Tinubu’s counsel, had argued that the suit be dismissed on the ground that the three plaintiffs lacked locus standi to institute it.
The senior lawyer informed the court that none of the plaintiffs participated in the primary election that produced the president-elect but chose to harass, intimidate and irritate Tinubu through the frivolous suit.
Fagbemi further argued that the litigants engaged in gross abuse of court by their multiple cases against Tinubu and the APC in various courts without any reasonable cause of action.
The court’s decision came barely 24 hours after the Court of Appeal in Abuja slammed a N40m fine on a presidential candidate, Chief Ambrose Albert Owuru, who also sought to stop Tinubu’s inauguration on the ground that he won the 2019 presidential election and should be inaugurated instead of Tinubu.