By Taiwo Adebowale
The suit which was filed by three Nigerians seeking to disqualify the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari from contesting in the 2019 General Elections come up for hearing today, January 21 at a Federal High Court in Abuja.
The plaintiffs, Mr Kalu Agu, Labaran Ismail and Hassy El-Kuris, alleged that the president lied in his form CF 001 submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), regarding his educational qualifications and certificates.
When the matter came up for mention on Wednesday, January 9, U.C.Ndubisi, counsel to the plaintiffs, who was holding brief for Mr Okpai Ukiro, informed the court that the matter was for mention.
Ndubisi told the court that all the defendants had been served with the processes, and that the president filed an application asking for an extension of time as well as a preliminary objection to the originating summons.
He, therefore, prayed the court for some time to enable him respond to the applications.
The suit which was filed on behalf of the plaintiff by Ukiro has the president as the first defendant, APC as second defendant and INEC as the third defendant.
The plaintiffs want the court to determine “whether having regards to the information in the affidavit contained in Buhari’s INEC form, CF 001 regarding his educational qualification/certificate, he has submitted false information to INEC.
“Whether from the facts and exhibits contained in the affidavit in support of the originating summons and having regards to Section 31(5)(6) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, Buhari is disqualified from running for the office of president in the 2019 general elections.
“Whether Buhari, having submitted false information to INEC, the APC can validly present him as its candidate for the office of president in the 2019 general elections.”
Upon the determination of the aforementioned questions, the plaintiffs seek a court declaration that the president submitted false information regarding his educational qualification to INEC to contest elections into the office of President of Nigeria in the 2019 general elections.
The plaintiffs, in addition, want the court to declare that the president, having submitted false information regarding his educational qualification/certificate, is disqualified from contesting elections into the office of president in the 2019 elections.
They also pray the court for an order directing INEC to reject or remove Buhari’s name as the presidential candidate of the APC submitted to INEC for the 2019 general elections.
The trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed adjourned the matter until today, Jan. 21, for hearing of the main suit and the preliminary objection.
Mohammed also ordered that hearing notices be served on APC and INEC.