Court fixes Feb 7 to hear suit seeking Buhari’s disqualification

Hearing in a suit seeking President Muhammadu Buhari’s disqualification from the February 16 election was stalled on Thursday at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed adjourned till February 7 for hearing in the suit following a request by the plaintiff’s counsel for time to respond to the preliminary objection filed by the All Progressives Congress served on him on Wednesday.

The plaintiffs, Kalu Agu, Labaran Ismail and Hassy El-Kuris are alleging that President Buhari lied in his Form CF 001 submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission regarding his educational qualification and certificates.

Listed as first to third defendants in the suit are President Buhari, the APC and INEC.

When the matter came up on Thursday, counsel for the plaintiff, Godwin Haruna, holding brief for Ukaei Ukairo, informed the court that the APC served the preliminary objection late on Wednesday.

He told the trial judge that the plaintiff was served the court process in November last year and wondered why the second defendant chose to reply on Wednesday.

Haruna then asked for a cost of N100,000, a request which was turned down by the court.

Justice Mohammed adjourned the matter till February 7, 2019 to commence hearing of the matter and directed that hearing notices be served on Buhari and other defendants in the matter.

The plaintiffs want the court to, among other things, determine, “Whether having regard to the information in the affidavit contained in the 1st defendant’s INEC’s form, CF 001 regarding his educational qualification /certificate, (Buhari) has submitted false information to the (INEC).

“Whether from the facts and exhibits contained in the affidavit in support of this originating summon and having regard to Section 31 (5 and 6) of the Electoral Act as amended, the first defendant is disqualified from running for the Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the 2019 general elections.”

The litigants also want the court to declare that the first defendant (Buhari), submitted false information regarding his educational qualification /certificate for the purpose of contesting election into the Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

They further want an order of court disqualifying the first defendant from presenting himself and or in the general elections.

“An order of this honourable court, restraining the first defendant from parading himself as the presidential candidate of the second defendant for the 2019 general elections,” it read in part.