PRESIDENTIAL candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, challenged the suit challenging his eligibility to participate in the forthcoming general election.
Represented by a team of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, Buhari also challenged the February 2 court order of substituted service on him.
Olanipekun contended that the case was not even ripe for mention, as he was within time and told the court that he needed a short adjournment to file processes in the matter.
It will be recalled that a lawyer, Max Ozoaka, had filed the suit seeking to disqualify Buhari from contesting this year’s election for failing to provide evidence of his secondary school certificate.
When the matter came up on Monday, some parties had, through their counsel, brought application seeking leave of the court to be joined as defendants in the matter.
Counsel for the parties seeking to be joined are Ajayi Olowo, Abdulhameed Mohammed and Mohammed Ibrahim.
Lead counsel for the plaintiff, Chief Obla, told the court that his client had complied with an ex parte order of the court, dated February 2, to serve Buhari with court processes via newspaper publications.
He said that the second defendant, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), had responded and that he also received two fresh applications from parties seeking to be joined in the suit.
Obla said that he was not opposed to the joinder applications, but said he needed a short adjournment to enable him respond to all the processes he received.
Similarly, INEC’s counsel, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, sought for time to him file a memorandum for conditional appearance, having filed and served all parties with his counter-affidavit.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola fixed February 23 to enable the court take all pending applications and hear the case.
The judge had earlier fixed the same date to hear another suit challenging Buhari’s eligibility filed by Mr Chike Okafor.
The plaintiff in the suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/14/2015, via an originating summons, wants an order restraining INEC from permitting Buhari to run for president in 2015.
The plaintiff is also seeking a declaration that by the combined provisions of Sections 31(1)(2) and (3) of the 2010 Electoral Act and INEC Form CF 001, Buhari is mandatorily obliged to strictly comply with their provisions.
This, he argued, had to do with Buhari’s filing and submission of INEC Form CF 001 without attaching evidence of educational qualifications as required, which was an offence under Section 31 of the Act.
The plaintiff, therefore, prayed the court to declare that Buhari was not eligible to participate in the 2015 presidential election for failure to comply with the terms for submission of list of candidates.
Source: Tribune


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