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An Abuja-based legal practitioner, Chuks Nwachukwu, was, on Tuesday, fined N20m by the Federal High Court in Abuja.
He incurred the fine following a suit he filed at the court on behalf of five Abuja residents seeking to stop the May 29 inauguration of President Bola Tinubu.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment, however, struck out the suit on the grounds that the plaintiffs lacked locus standi to institute the matter.
“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 Tribunal which proceedings are ongoing.”
Justice Ekwo consequently ordered the lawyer to pay the Attorney-General of the Federation and Chief Justice of Nigeria, listed as 1st and 2nd defendants, respectively, in the case, the sum of N10m each.
The judge held that until Nwachukwu paid off the N20m, no further action should be taken in the matter.
The judge, who also condemned some media comments allegedly made by Nwachukwu, said he would have made an additional order to bar the lawyer from practising “until he appears before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee to determine whether he is fit to practise 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 to determine whether he is fit to practise the profession,” the judge said.
Justice Ekwo 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.
The five FCT residents, Anyaegbunam Okoye, David Adzer, Jeffrey Uche, Osang Paul and Chibuike Nwanchukwu, had in the suit sought a court order to stop the May 29 inauguration of Tinubu as President, on the argument that he didn’t win 25 per cent of the votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory during the February 25 presidential election.
The plaintiffs claimed that they filed the suit on behalf of themselves and other residents and registered voters in the FCT, but the judge said upon reading the affidavit attached to the suit, he could discern that the lawyer only used the residents as fronts to file the suit.
“I can discern that the averments thereof are merely the voice of Esau and the hands of Jacob.
“It means that the said Chucks Nwachukwu of counsel for the plaintiffs instigated this suit and merely got the plaintiffs to stand in as parties while he handles the suit as a lawyer.
“This is an unprofessional conduct on the part of the said Chucks Nwachukwu of counsel for the plaintiffs.
“It is so because the learned counsel has made himself believe that he can flout the Rule of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners without any consequence.
“On the whole, I find that this action is premised on recklessness, frivolity and complete lack of knowledge of the elementary principle of law as it relates to the 1999 Constitution and Electoral Act, 2022,” he said.
The judge pronounced that, “The aim thereof which cannot be denied, is to plunge this country into unprecedented constitutional anarchy capable of causing bloodshed and genocide.
“The plaintiffs and their lawyer ought to be deprecated in the strongest term for this type of adventure and I so do.”
Fulham 0-2 Chelsea: Mudryk, Broja strike to earn Blues their second league win of the season
Chelsea bagged two first-half goals to seal a crucial win over West London rivals Fulham at Craven Cottage and move up to 11th on the Premier League table.
The Blues flew out of the blocks as they debuted their new Infinite Athlete kit and created the first chance of the match after only 80 seconds, but Armando Broja could not capitalise.
Chelsea looked bright with Enzo Fernandez conducting affairs, and they picked the Cottagers apart.
Mykhailo Mudryk was looking electric and dangerous. The Ukrainian winger opened the scoring on 18 as he controlled a pass from Levi Colwill before slotting the ball beyond Bernd Leno.
It was Mudryk’s first Premier League goal following his £88 million move from Shakhtar Donetsk in January. And within seconds, Chelsea had their second.
Tim Ream had a moment to forget as he gave the ball away to Cole Palmer. The young English playmaker then slipped Broja in, but Ream hit the ball off the Albanian striker as the ball trickled past Leno.
Fulham tried to find gaps behind Marc Cucurella and Axel Disasi on the right side of Chelsea’s defence, but it was not working. Chelsea controlled the game and held their two-goal going into the break.
In the second 45, Fulham came out with more attacking poise, and it helped that Mudryk went off with a knock, giving Fulham the impetus to come forward, but Chelsea’s defence stood resolute.
Vinicius and Alex Iwobi came on for Fulham and helped their side find spaces beyond Chelsea’s backline, but the Boys in Blue defended well and showed they were still dangerous.
Ian Maatsen, on for Mudryk, hit the post, and Leno had to be quick to smother Fernandez’s rebound effort. Fulham forced Chelsea to work for their lead, but Mauricio Pochettino’s men looked up to it.
Substitute Tom Cairney created a lovely chance for Sasa Lukic. However, Robert Sanchez stuck out a brilliant leg to save the effort and keep his side in it.
On 83, Willian tried an effort from outside the box, but it did not cause any problems for Sanchez as Chelsea ran out 2-0 victors
Tribunal verdict: Governor rejects judgement, calls for calm
Nasarawa State Governor, His Excellency, Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule has rejected Monday’s judgment of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal delivered in Lafia.
While speaking to teeming supporters of the APC at the Government House, Lafia, Governor Sule says the judgement will be challenged at the appeal court.
He however call on the people of the state to remain calm and law abiding.
Engr. Sule promised to continue discharging his duties as the Executive Governor with more vigor.
Man Utd winger Anthony in contention for Galatasaray UEFA champions league clash
Erik ten Hag has confirmed that Antony could feature for Manchester United against Galatasaray after rejoining his ranks at Old Trafford.
The Brazil international forward was granted indefinite leave by the Red Devils following a series of alarming allegations made against him by former girlfriend Gabriela Cavallin.
Antony has been back in his homeland since then, allowing him to meet with police forces in Sao Paulo.
He returned to England last week and has held five hours of talks with Greater Manchester Police.
The 23-year-old winger maintains his innocence – having also faced accusations from two other women.
United have allowed him to focus on off-field matters of late, but revealed ahead of a Premier League meeting with Crystal Palace that Antony had been given a green light to return to training and was once again available for selection.
He has only taken in one session since then, suggesting that he will be short on match fitness, but Ten Hag says the South American is in his thoughts ahead of the Champions League group stage meeting with Galatasaray on Tuesday.
The Dutch coach has said: “Antony will be in consideration but yesterday was his first time back in team training. We have a final training, then we’ll make a decision.”
Ten Hag added when delivering an update on Lisandro Martinez – with the World Cup-winning Argentine defender still struggling with a long-standing foot injury: “I can confirm, yeah. Licha Martinez will undergo surgery and the team news is Antony can probably return.”
Antony’s last appearance for United came in the club’s 3-1 defeat at Arsenal on September 3.
He was removed from the Brazil squad for the last round of international fixtures and has not registered a goal for club or country since April 16.
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