Court strikes out suit against Jonathan’s eligibility
SEQUEL to its withdrawal, the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, Wednesday struck out the suit challenging the eligibility of President Goodluck Jonathan to contest the forthcoming presidential election.
The court’s decision followed an application for withdrawal filed by the plaintiffs, Prof. Tunde Samuel, Dr. Junaidu Mohammed, Mr. Rasak Adeogun and Yahaya Ezeemoo Ndu.
When the case was called up, plaintiffs’ counsel, Mr. Alex Okoja, drew the attention of the court to a notice of discontinuance filed by the plaintiffs and urged the court to strike out the matter. He submitted that the said notice had been served on all parties to the case.
Responding, Jonathan’s counsel, Mr. Ade Okeaya-Inneh (SAN), though not objecting to the withdrawal, prayed the court to award cost against the plaintiffs for filing a “frivolous suit” against President Jonathan.
“My lord, we have been served and we have no objection, but we will be asking for cost. We have been in and out of court on this particular matter,” he said.
“We have already filed our processes. This matter was filed by seven SANs, and I assume with greatest respect that they should have taken out time to evaluate the merit of the matter before bringing us here.”
Ruling on the matter, Justice Ahmed Mohammed acceded to Okeaya-inneh’s request and awarded a cost of N50,000 against the plaintiffs.
“In law, cost follows events,” he ruled. “A party who took out an action against another party and went ahead to cause a hearing notice to be issued by the court on that party, only to turn around and withdraw the matter, must be ready for some sanction.”